Speech Therapy Department
The Speech and Language department provides a number of unique services for children with speech and language difficulties. Our certified and experienced therapists evaluate and plan treatment for each child based on their individual needs.
Therapy may concentrate on any of the following areas:
- Expressive and receptive language disorders
- Stuttering or dysfluencies
- Voice disorders
- Articulation or phonological deficits
- Apraxia of speech
- Cognitive skills, such as problem solving and reasoning
- Social skills (groups available)
- Feeding, swallowing, and oral motor skills
- Augmentative Communication
- Vital Stim
- Phonemic awareness and reading skills
- Hearing Loss/Cochlear Implants
- Literacy (provided both individually and in groups)
What is VitalStim® Therapy
VitalStim® Therapy is a safe and effective treatment for children experiencing difficulty with swallowing or dysphagia. VitalStim® Therapy uses non-invasive, external electrical stimulation therapy equipment that was approved for use by the FDA in December, 2002. A certified speech pathologist uses specifically designed electrodes applied to the muscles of the throat to promote proper swallowing. The rehabilitation program combines the benefits of neuromuscular electrical stimulation with volitional therapeutic exercises. The therapist may include swallowing treatment activities such as alternating food and liquids, using compensatory swallow strategies, (chin tuck, small sips, small bites), vibration and oral motor exercises. Using this combination approach allows the therapist to implement an active therapy to teach the children the functional muscle movements necessary to create, retrain, or improve swallowing patterns.
Please visit www.vitalstim.com for more information.
Speech/language Therapy for Children with Hearing Loss
At our Center for Children with Hearing Impairments the individual speech and language therapy varies greatly depending on the need of the child. We are skilled in post cochlear implant rehabilitation and use of personal amplification. We have several therapists who are trained and fluent in a variety of communication modes, including American Sign Language, spoken English, and Cued Speech. The mode of communication to be used with each child is determined by the client’s families with recommendations from individual therapists.
Therapy may include the following:
- Auditory rehabilitation/training
- Receptive and expressive language improvement
- Pragmatic skills development necessary for conversation
- Speech and verbal communication skills
Literacy Groups at the Children’s Therapy Center
Coordinated by a speech pathologist and an occupational therapist our literacy groups are designed for children who are just beginning to read and those struggling with learning to read. The groups meets weekly for 60 minutes per session. There are three different levels of groups. After an evaluation by the therapist a careful determination is made to match your child with the group that best meets his/her needs.
The curriculum of the group focus on introducing and reinforcing the many literacy skills including:
- Identifying letter-sound correspondence
- Identifying rhyming words
- Identifying the beginning/ending sounds of words
- Identifying common sight words
- Identifying upper and lower case letters
- Writing lower and upper-case letters
- Improving reading comprehension
- Improving reading fluency
During each speech evaluation, we use a combination of standardized assessments, clinical observations, evaluation of play, and caregiver interviews to determine the next step in the child's care. If therapy services are recommended, we set up a regular weekly schedule for treatment sessions. Each child is treated one-on-one with a licensed therapist. Therapy plans include oral motor exercises and assistive and alternative communication when appropriate. We also provide Social Skills sessions, during which group speech sessions are available.
Speech and language services are provided by state-licensed Speech-Language Pathologists with current Certification of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language Association.