Speech & Language Therapy

Speech therapy is an intervention service that helps both children and adults to be better communicators.  At Developmental Therapy Associates, speech pathologists evaluate a child’s overall communication in various areas of their speech and language skills. Our speech pathologists can help your child with articulation, apraxia, language development, social communication, fluent speech, and feeding/swallowing difficulties. 

Speech Includes...

Articulation

  • How we make speech sounds using the mouth, lips, and tongue. For example, we need to be able to say the “r” sound to say "rabbit" instead of "wabbit.”

  • Signs of a speech articulation disorder:

    • Says p, b, m, h, and w incorrectly in words most of the time (1–2 years)

    • Says k, g, f, t, d, and n incorrectly in words most of the time (2–3 years)

    • Produces speech that is unclear, even to familiar people (2–3 years)

Fluency

  • This is the rhythm of our speech. We sometimes repeat sounds or pause while talking. People who do this a lot may stutter.

  • Signs of a fluency disorder:

    • Struggles to say sounds or words (2½–3 years)

    • Repeats first sounds of words—"b-b-b-ball" for "ball" (2½–3 years)

    • Pauses a lot while talking (2½–3 years)

    • Stretches sounds out—"f-f-f-f-farm" for "farm" (2½–3 years)

Voice

  • How we use our vocal folds and breath to make sounds. Our voice can be loud or soft or high- or low-pitched. We can hurt our voice by talking too much, yelling, or coughing a lot.

    • Signs of a voice disorder:

    • Uses a hoarse or breathy voice

    • Uses a nasal-sounding voice

Language Includes...

  • What words mean. Some words have more than one meaning. For example, “star” can be a bright object in the sky or someone famous.

  • How to make new words. For example, we can say “friend,” “friendly,” or “unfriendly” and mean something different.

  • How to put words together. For example, in English we say, “Peg walked to the new store” instead of “Peg walk store new.”

  • What we should say at different times. For example, we might be polite and say, “Would you mind moving your foot?” But, if the person does not move, we may say, “Get off my foot!”

  • A language disorder may be spoken and/or written (reading and writing). It may also be receptive (understanding) and/or expressive (talking, reading, writing, or signing).

  • Signs of a language disorder:

    • Doesn't smile or interact with others (birth–3 months)

    • Doesn't babble (4–7 months)

    • Makes few sounds (7–12 months)

    • Does not use gestures (e.g., waving, pointing) (7–12 months)

    • Doesn't understand what others say (7 months–2 years)

    • Says only a few words (12–18 months)

    • Doesn't put words together to make sentences (1½–2 years)

    • Says fewer than 50 words (2 years)

    • Has trouble playing and talking with other children (2–3 years)

    • Has problems with early reading and writing skills

      • for example, may not show an interest in books or drawing (2½–3 years)

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Photos by EJ Cannon Photography