The Achieve Center Speech and Language professionals offer comprehensive assessment and therapeutic intervention for a wide array of communication disorders for individuals from early childhood into young adulthood.
Speech and language disorders are the most frequently occurring developmental concerns identified in children. Individuals with communication disorders are at greater risk for developmental, educational, and social deficits. Timely assessment and therapy enhances each child’s potential for long term success.
Disorders to be evaluated and treated by a Speech Language Pathologist include: Speech Sound Disorders: difficulty with producing sounds or saying words in an intelligible and age appropriate manner. This may include articulation disorders, phonological disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, hearing deficits, and more. Expressive Language Disorders: difficulty producing verbal language with organizing words, seeking vocabulary, recalling words, making grammatical errors in spoken speech, or having difficulty with producing sentences with developmentally appropriate length or complexity.
Receptive Language Disorders: marked by challenges in understanding or processing language such as difficulty understanding novel concepts, trouble answering questions, issues with following directions or recalling information, and difficulty responding to others due to poor comprehension. Resonance/Voice Disorders: trouble with pitch, volume, or quality of the voice. This can occur from over-use, hormonal changes to the body, after severe stress/trauma, or a result of a respiratory condition.
Oral Motor Disorders: an oral motor disorder may cause difficulties with feeding, swallowing, or speech. This could be due to birth defects, weak oral muscles, or acquired conditions.
Cognitive Communication Disorders: difficulty with thought processes that allow humans to function successfully and interact meaningfully. This may include orientation, attention, memory, problem solving, and executive function skills. This can occur from congenital or acquired brain conditions.
Social Communication Disorders: trouble with the use of verbal and nonverbal language for social purposes, which can present as difficulty with initiating conversations, responding to others, using/interpreting gestures and facial expressions, taking turns when speaking, talking about emotions and feelings, staying on topic, adjusting speech to fit different people/circumstances, asking relevant questions, etc. This is common in children with autism, but is not exclusively linked to autism and often occurs in children who do not have an autism diagnosis.
Feeding/Swallowing Disorders: challenges with using the lips, teeth, and/or tongue to chew and swallow and/or issues with accepting foods to eat. This can be characterized by frequent gagging, coughing, or choking while eating, aversions to foods, picky eating, and more.
Your child may display deficits in one or more of the following areas and be in need of assessment and intervention. It is not best to assume that these limitations are minor and will go away in the absence of treatment. Be sure to follow up if you child exhibits one or more of the following:
Limited ability to engage in social exchanges
Limited word usage or vocabulary size
Limited ability to understand and/or respond to spoken language
Cognitive or other developmental delays
Difficulty understanding the child’s speech
Limited attention span
Birth defects such as cleft lip/palate
Hearing impairment or deafness
Oral weakness or lack of coordination in mouth
Genetic conditions negatively impacting communication skills
Stuttering or fluency disorders
Difficulty expressing thoughts and ideas
Difficulty with memory, organization, and planning
Challenges with telling stories
Trouble answering questions or following directions
The effectiveness of therapeutic intervention is largely dependent on parental involvement and the age at which treatment is initiated. Speech and language therapy is most effective if initiated before the age of 5 years. An integral component of effective treatment is full parental engagement in the therapeutic process. Parents are afforded the opportunity to observe treatment sessions in an effort to expand the display of newly learned skills into the home setting and beyond.