Are you wondering what exactly each speech therapy or language therapy service is? We know it can get a bit confusing. Below is a breif description of each type of speech and language service should you, your child, or family member need therapy in one or more of our treatment areas. The disorders and impairments listed can be seen in people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. Both children and adults can have speech and language disorders. These disorders can occur as a result of a medical condition, be developmental, or have no known cause. If you feel like you or your family member needs assistance in regard to any of the speech therapy or language therapy areas, contact us and we can start the process that will transform your/their life. We welcome questions, so please do not hesitate to contact us!
SPEECH SOUND DISORDERS
A speech sound disorder occurs when there are mistakes on speech sounds that cause speech intelligibility problems. Speech sounds develop around certain ages, but if errors on continue past a developmentlly appropriate age it is said to be disordered or impaired. This includes problems with articulation of specific sounds and/or phonological processes (which occurs when groups of sounds within patterns are all difficult to produce. For example saying /k/ and /g/ as a /t/ and /d/ or not being able to say the last sound in all words).
APRAXIA OF SPEECH
Apraxia of speech has to do with problems sequecing and saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of a muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has difficulty planning the body part movements (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The person knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her coordination of the muscle movements necessary to say those words is impaired.
Dysarthria occurs when the muscles of the mouth, face, and respiratory system become weak, move slowly, or not move at all. This can occur after a stroke or another type of brain injury. The type and severity depend on which area of the nervous system is affected.
Stuttering affects the fluency (smoothness) of speech. It typically begins during childhood and, in some cases, lasts throughout life. The disorder is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds. Fluency impairments can be characterized by:
part-word repetitions ("W- W- W- Where)
sound prolongations ("SSSSave")
interjections ("um um um um")
blocks (inability to get a sound or word out).
Voice disorders occur when there is something interfering with the movement of your vocal folds. If you have a voice disorder, you may sound hoarse or breathy, like you are talking out of your nose, like you have a cold and are stuffed up, like your voice is too high or too low, or like you are talking too loudly or too softly.
Feeding disorders include problems gathering food and getting ready to suck, chew, or swallow it. For example, a person who cannot pick up food and get it to their mouth or cannot completely close their lips to keep food from falling out of the mouth may have a feeding disorder.
Swallowing disorders can occur at different stages in the swallowing process:
Sucking, chewing, and moving food or liquid into the throat
Starting the swallow, squeezing food down the throat, and closing off the airway to prevent food or liquid from entering the airway or to prevent choking.
Relaxing and tightening the openings at the top and bottom of the feeding tube in the throat and squeezing food through the esophagus into the stomach.
EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT
Expressive language is the ability to produce language. There are many different areas of expressive language that can be affected by an impairment, but some may be having trouble:
Using gestures more than words
Putting words together into sentences
Learning songs and rhymes
Using correct pronouns, like "he" or "they", and other grammar errors
Using vocabulary correctly
Explaining things in a logical way.
RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT
Receptive language is the ability to undertstand language. There are many different areas of receptive language that can be affected by an impairment, but some may be having trouble:
Understanding what gestures mean
Identifying objects and pictures
Understanding written or verbally presented information
With comprehension skills.
Phonological awareness deficits involve difficulty with the manipulation of sounds within words. Deficits in phonlogical awareness affect literacy. They inculde such tasks as being able to rhyme, understand syllable awareness, and to segment and blend syllables and sounds of words. These skills are needed to be able to decode for reading. Comprehnsion is understanding what you read. It includes, to only mention a few language based skills, understanding vocaublary, grammar, sequencing, inferences, predictions, etc.
PRAGMATIC LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENTS
Social language is known as pragmatics. Social language/pragmatics involves three major communication skills:
Using language for different purposes, such as greeting, informing, demanding, promissing, and requesting
Changing language according to the needs of a listener or situation, such as talking differently to a baby than an adult, giving background information to an unfamiliar listener, or speaking differently in a classroom verses a playground
Following rules for conversations and storytelling, such as taking turns, introducing and remaining on topic, rephrasing when misunderstood, non-vebral language, and eye contact.
COMMUNICATION THROUGH ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), also referred to as assistive technology, is communication by means other than verbalization. People with severe speech or language problems can rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication icons or boards, communication books, and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth.
Selective mutism usually happens during childhood. A child with selective mutism does not speak in certain situations, like at school, but speaks at other times, like at home or with friends. Selective mutism often starts before a child is 5 years old, but is usually first noticed when the child starts school.
SPEECH THERAPY AND LANGUAGE THERAPY EXPLANATIONS!
*Most Information for this page was obtained from the American Speech Langauge Hearing Association website*