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Speech Therapy 

Our speech therapy program offers assessment and treatment services for a wide variety of conditions and diagnosis.

Services and Treatment Programs

  • Fluency 

Fluency is smooth, easy, effortless flow of speech. A disfluency, or stutter, occurs when there is an interruption in the forward flow of speech. During an assessment for fluency concerns, an SLP will listen for different types of disfluencies and how frequently they occur. An SLP can help promote smooth speech and help shift mindset/thoughts while communicating.

  • Literacy 

Literacy is the ability to read and understand written language. Difficulties with literacy skills look like: difficulty sounding out words accurately, slow and labored pace while reading, and difficulty understanding reading material. During an assessment for literacy concerns, an SLP will look at: your child’s ability to manipulate sounds (phonological awareness), your child’s ability to decode words of age-appropriate phonetic rules, and your child’s ability to read at an appropriate pace for their age. 

  • Orton-Gillingham Approach 

The Orton-Gillingham approach to reading uses multi-sensory, cumulative, and repetitive features to improve a child’s ability to read accurately and fluently. The approach uses a systematic style to teach phonetic rules. The approach builds a child’s confidence while reading by targeting ‘fair’, or previously taught phonetic rules during all reading tasks. 

  • Expressive and Receptive Language: 

Having difficulty understanding what other people say is called a receptive language disorder. A child with a receptive language disorder may have trouble understanding what people mean when they use gestures (i.e. shrug or nod), following directions, answering questions, pointing to objects and pictures, and knowing how to take turns when talking with others. 

Having difficulty sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings is called an expressive language disorder. A child with an expressive language disorder may have trouble asking questions, naming objects, using gestures, putting words together into sentences, learning songs and rhymes, using correct pronouns, like “he” or “they”, and changing how they talk to different people and in different places. 

Many children have problems with both understanding and talking, or a mixed receptive-expressive language disorder.

  • Speech Sounds:

Some children may say sounds the wrong way as they learn to talk. They learn some sounds earlier, like b, m, p. Other sounds take longer to learn, like r or th. Most children can say almost all speech sounds correctly by 4 years old. A child who does not say sounds by the expected ages may have a speech sound disorder. You may hear the terms “articulation disorder” and “phonological disorder” to describe speech sound disorders like this.

In addition, a child may have oral motor difficulties that cause speech sound disorders. SLPs can help your child pay closer attention to their mouth and facial movements, know where their tongue and mouth muscles are when they speak, and say sounds more clearly.

A child could also have Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). In order for speech to occur, messages need to go from your brain to your mouth. These messages tell the muscles how and when to move to make sounds. When a child has apraxia of speech, the messages do not get through correctly. The child might not be able to move their lips or tongue in the right ways, even though their muscles are not weak. Sometimes, the child might not be able to say much at all. A child with CAS knows what they want to say. The problem is not how the child thinks but how the brain tells the mouth muscles to move.

  • Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support (SCERTS Model)

“The SCERTS® Model is a research-based educational approach and multidisciplinary framework that directly addresses the core challenges faced by children and persons with ASD and related disabilities, and their families. SCERTS® focuses on building competence in Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support as the highest priorities that must be addressed in any program, and is applicable for individuals with a wide range of abilities and ages across home, school and community settings.”

PROMPT (PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is a holistic approach to assessment and treatment of speech sound disorders. It focuses on assessing the cause of motor breakdowns in speech in order to provide direct feedback to effectively support appropriate speech production. 

PROMPT is most known for being a tactile-kinesthetic (touch and feel) approach where an SLP places his/her hands on the client’s face to guide his/her jaw, lips, and tongue to move correctly to form words.” 

This technique reduces the cognitive load on a child while they are learning a new motor pattern for speech. The PROMPT approach emphasizes the use of motivational activities to practice functional language targets that will be frequently used in the client’s daily life. This approach is structured to reduce frustration and build the client’s confidence in communicating. 


  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) describes multiple ways to communicate that can supplement or compensate (either temporarily or permanently) for the impairment and disability patterns of individuals with severe expressive communication disorders. 

Successful AAC Systems will help individuals

  • Exercise control of their lives
  • Develop independence
  • Interact with others and express their wishes
  • Become productive, active members of society

AAC is used by individuals with a variety of speech and language deficits with the goal being to support and achieve effective communication. AAC provides a compensatory method for speech difficulties, but can also serve as an important tool in facilitating natural speech development (DeThorne et al., 2009). 

No-Tech/ Unaided Communication Systems: These systems an individual uses with no additional tools or technology such as motor behaviors, gestures, vocalizations, verbalizations (or verbal approximations), proxemics (approach, avoidance), eye gaze, and facial expressions.

Low Tech AAC:  These are “aided” communication strategies (i.e., requires some type of external assistance for the symbols) which do not run from a power source–such as picture or object communication, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), partner assisted auditory scanning, etc.

Light Tech AAC: Voice output communication systems which are typically battery operated and have a static (non-changing) display.

High Tech AAC: Communication systems typically requiring an electronic power source and having a dynamic display (changing computerized screen) that responds to user input. 


  • Social Use of Language

Social pragmatic language deficits may be secondary to diagnoses such as autism, ADHD, anxiety, or other communication or language disorders. A child with social pragmatic language deficits may have difficulty understanding and following the social rules of language and behavior. Common deficits in the social use of language include:

  • low attention to bids for interaction (i.e., responding to name or instruction), 
  • difficulty initiating interaction with others (i.e., greeting or playing with peers), 
  • difficulty taking the perspective of others,
  • limited use and understanding of imaginative play and humor, 
  • difficulty understanding and using appropriate body language, facial expressions, intonation, etc. to communicate feeling/meaning, 
  • and difficulty following the rules of conversation (turn taking, topic maintenance, sharing relevant information). 

Explicit teaching of perspective taking and social rules would be necessary to improve a child’s understanding of not only social rules, but how to implement them to share information effectively and form meaningful relationships with others. Successful treatment of social pragmatic language deficits should include an individualized program developed for a child based on their strengths and weaknesses.

Resources:  (overview of ASHA links for norms-less specific than link below)  (break down of communication milestones by age)

First Words Project Website: