Pediatric Speech Therapy
• Articulation • Phonology • Receptive/Expressive Language • Pragmatics • Voice/Fluency • AAC • Feeding
Pediatric Speech therapy is the treatment of speech and communication disorders. The approach used depends on the actual disorder. It may include physical exercises to strengthen the muscles used in speech (oral-motor work), speech drills to improve clarity, or sound production practice to improve articulation. A licensed speech pathologist will evaluate and treat on an individual basis and provide the appropriate approach to increase communication skills whether it is receptive language, expressive language, articulation and/or social skills.
Articulation is the movement of the tongue, lips, and jaw in order to make speech sounds. Sound is produced through the expelling of air from the lungs. Children with articulation disorders may delete sounds (say “bu” instead of “bus”), substitute sounds (say “sree” instead of “three”), add sounds (say “spagbetti” instead of “spaghetti”), or distort sounds (say “throne” instead of “spoon”). Articulation therapy focuses on correctly producing speech sounds and decreasing speech sound errors by eliciting target sounds, generalizing the sounds into their everyday environment, and maintaining the sound with self-monitoring.
Phonology focuses on changing speech sound pattern. We work on changing speech sound patterns and decreasing phonological processes that children use to simplify their speech by understanding the rules of speech.
Receptive language refers to how well a child understands what is being said to them. Expressive language refers to the child’s ability to share their own thoughts or ideas in words. Therapy focuses on expanding vocabulary and putting words together to form sentences.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication refers to strategies and devices that support communication. This can include anything from pictures and sign language to specialized tablets. AAC also includes the use of alternative access methods such as using switches or eye gaze to communicate. We have several speech therapists who specialize in using AAC to support communication and who have experience collaborating with families and school teams to improve ease of use across settings.
We have both SLPs and OTs that provide feeding therapy! Our feeding therapists can address concerns including:
- Difficulty getting enough to eat
- Eating a limited variety of foods
- Coughing, gagging, or vomiting while eating
- Difficulty eating food by mouth
- Difficulty chewing and controlling food in the mouth
Our feeding therapists draw from a variety of evidence based feeding methods including SOS, TalkTools, the Get Permission Approach, the AEIOU Systematic Approach, Beckman Oral Motor, and Amp Care.