Speech and Language Pathology

Speech-language pathologists are professionals who specialize in the assessment, diagnosis and management of communication, swallowing and feeding disorders. Speech-language pathologists work with clients across the age span, from infants to elderly.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Our Speech Therapists see children from 12 months to 18 years who have difficulties with:

  • Language development (understanding and speaking)
  • Speech development (articulation, stuttering, dyspraxia)
  • Connecting and relating to others
  • Auditory processing
  • Literacy (reading and writing)
  • Voice (quality, loudness and awareness of voice use)
  • Social communication (eg. greetings, making friends, social interactions)
  • Swallowing/eating or drinking (eg. fussy eaters, limited food choices, difficulty eating)

Our Speech Therapists are skilled in understanding how sensory integration difficulties, Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety, lack of social confidence, ADHD/ADD, visual processing difficulties, family history, personality and hearing difficulties can have an impact on communication.

IS MY CHILD HAVING DIFFICULTY COMMUNICATING?

Every child is different but there are a number of key signs that indicate your child may benefit from speech therapy. These include:

  • Frustration
  • Withdrawal from social situations
  • Attention or concentration difficulties
  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Difficulties following directions
  • Difficulties with using the correct grammar or words in a sentence
  • Using made-up words (jargon)
  • Difficulties in the classroom with listening and completing tasks
  • Difficulties with reading or writing (making up words, skipping words, mispronouncing, guessing, not liking to read)
  • Echoing language (repeating back rather than answering a question)
  • Difficulties with making friends

DO I NEED A REFERRAL?

KidsAbility highly recommends all parents meet with their child’s paediatrician to discuss their concerns. Some insurance providers will require a physician referral. Please contact your insurance provider to confirm if this is required with your plan. 

WHAT CAN I DO?

Book in to see one of our friendly Speech Therapists. Speech Therapists are the best people to assess your child’s communication or swallowing and they will be able to identify any concerns and help organise therapy sessions to suit your child’s needs. It is important that you see a Speech Therapist as soon as you have any concerns, as the earlier you start therapy, the better the outcomes.

THERAPY TECHNIQUES

Our Speech Therapists use a wide range of personally tailored therapy techniques.

Hanen

The approach advocates that the natural environment is the best way for children to learn, providing them with opportunities to communicate with key people in their lives.

More Than Words®
Key Principles

This programme acknowledges the role of parents and caregivers as the most important element in a child’s life and that parents’ have a primary role in their child’s intervention. It encourages early intervention and the power of the ‘everyday.’ Children learn to communicate by participating in everyday activities with their parents/important adults who know how to build communication during these activities.

More Than Words® Workshops

The programme comprises a series of 8 workshops and parents/carers attend without children.  It requires a commitment from parents as each workshop covers different areas.

The workshops provide ideas about how to turn everyday activities into opportunities for promoting interaction and communication.  Each session consists of:

  • Presentations
  • More than Words video clips
  • Personalised videos of parent-child interactions at home,
  • Group participation
  • Group discussion
  • Home work strategies each week to try

Parents are encouraged to think about their child’s sensory preferences, learning styles and how and why their child communicates.  Parents are also trained to identify their child’s stage of communication.

Further information

You can read more about the Hanen approach and its evidence base at The Hanen Centre or review the More Than Words® Brochure.

Many of our therapists are trained in this approach and can support you in developing your child’s communication. For information on how we can help, get in touch with one of our therapists today.

Lidcombe

“The Lidcombe Program is a behavioural treatment for children who stutter who are younger than 6 years. It may be suitable for some older children.  The treatment is administered by a parent or carer in the child’s everyday environment. Parents learn how to do the treatment during weekly visits to the speech-language pathologist. During these visits, the speech-language pathologist teaches the parent by demonstrating various features of the treatment, observing the parent do the treatment, and giving parents feedback about how they are going with the treatment. This parent training is essential, because it is the speech-language pathologist’s responsibility to ensure that the treatment is done appropriately and is a positive experience for the child and the family.

The treatment is direct. This means that it involves the parent commenting directly about the child’s speech. This parent feedback needs to be generally positive. The parent comments primarily when the child speaks without stuttering and only occasionally when the child stutters. The parent does not comment on the child’s speech all the time, but chooses specific times during the day during which to give the child feedback.

As well as learning how to give feedback effectively, the parent also learns to measure the child’s stuttering each day with a scale from 0 to 9, where 0 is no stuttering, 1 is extremely mild stuttering, and 9 is extremely severe stuttering. At each clinic visit, the speech-language pathologist and the parent discuss at these severity ratings for the previous week to see what effect the treatment is having outside the clinic. This is an essential process to ensure that the treatment works properly. “

Source ~ http://www.lidcombeprogram.org

Prompt

” PROMPT is an acronym for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. The technique is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to a patient’s articulators (jaw, tongue, lips) to manually guide them through a targeted word, phrase or sentence. The technique develops motor control and the development of proper oral muscular movements, while eliminating unnecessary muscle movements, such as jaw sliding and inadequate lip rounding.

Therapists begin by helping patients produce certain phonemes. A phoneme is the smallest increment of sound in speech. For example, the “d” sound in the word dog is one phoneme, the “o” is another and the “g” is yet another. Each phoneme requires different muscle contractions/retractions and placement/movement of the jaw, lips, tongue, neck and chest to produce. All of these things have to happen with the proper timing and sequence to produce one phoneme correctly.  The therapist attempts to “teach” the patient’s muscles to produce a phoneme correctly by stimulating all of these through touch. With the timing and movement of more than 100 muscles involved, you can see why the training is so intense.

PROMPT therapy is appropriate for a wide range of patients with communication disorders. The most common patients have motor speech disorders, articulation problems or are non-verbal children. Many patients with aphasia, apraxia/dyspraxia, dysarthria, pervasive development disorders, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries and autism spectrum disorders have benefitted from PROMPT therapy. An evaluation by a PROMPT-trained speech therapist is the only way to find out if a patient is appropriate for the therapy.”

Source ~ http://www.promptinstitute.com

SOS Feeding

Developed by Dr. Kay Toomey, the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding program is an effective way to address problematic feeding behaviors in a variety of settings and populations. Parents and caregivers of children who will not eat are faced with a difficult and often puzzling challenge. Because the interplay between weight gain and a child’ s experience of food can be complicated, there is rarely an easy solution when a feeding problem arises. The SOS Approach uses a transdisciplinary team approach which assess the “whole child”: organ systems; muscles; development; sensory processing; oral-motor skills; learning, behavior and cognition; nutrition and the environment.

The SOS Approach focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level by exploring and learning about the different properties of food. The program allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way, beginning with the ability to tolerate the food in the room and in front of him/her; then moving on to touching, kissing, and eventually tasting and eating foods.

Source ~ https://sosapproach-conferences.com/about-us/the-sos-approach/

For more information please review our feeding clinic information.

To make an appointment with our certified and HPC registered speech-language pathologists please call 943- 5437 or email: info@kidsability.ky