Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapy

Sometimes, kids need a different form of communication because their verbal words are just not coming. We specialize in finding other ways to communicate. Some methods might be as simple as using sign language or pictures, but other kids may need a different approach.

Additionally, we work with families to consider any environmental adaptations that may need to be put in place to help your child become as independent as possible.

Hearing and Communication Development

If your child has not reached these milestones yet, come in for a free screening to determine if further evaluation is needed.

*This checklist is based upon How Does your Child Hear and Talk? courtesy of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

  • Reacts to loud sounds
  • Calms down or smiles when spoken to
  • Recognizes your voice and calms down if crying
  • When feeding, starts or stops sucking in response to sound
  • Coos and makes pleasure sounds
  • Has a special way of crying for different needs
  • Smiles when he or she sees you
  • Follows sounds with his or her eyes
  • Responds to changes in the tone of your voice
  • Notices toys that make sounds
  • Pays attention to music
  • Babbles in a speech-like way. Uses different sounds, including sounds that begin with p, b and m.
  • Laughs
  • Babbles when excited or unhappy
  • Makes gurgling sounds when alone or playing with you
  • Enjoys playing peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake
  • Turns and looks in the direction of sounds
  • Listens when spoken to
  • Understands words for common items such as “cup” “shoe” or “juice”
  • Responds to requests (“come here” or “want more?”)
  • Babbles using long and short groups of sounds (“tata, upup, bibibi”)
  • Babbles to get and keep attention
  • Communicates using gestures such as waving or holding up arms
  • Imitates different speech sounds
  • Has one or two words (“Hi” “Dog” “Dada” or “Mama”) by first birthday
  • Knows a few parts of the body and can point to them when asked
  • Follows simple commands (“roll the ball”) and understands simple questions (“Where’s your shoe?”)
  • Enjoys simple stories, songs and rhymes
  • Points to pictures, when named, in books
  • Uses some one or two-word questions (“Where kitty?” or “Go bye-bye?”)
  • Puts two words together (“More cookie” or “No juice”)
  • Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words
  • Has a word for almost everything
  • Uses two or three-word phrases to talk about and ask for things
  • Uses k, g, f, t, d and n sounds
  • Speaks in a way that is understood by family members and friends
  • Names objects to ask for them or to direct attention to them
  • Hears you when you call from another room
  • Hears the TV or radio at the same sound level as other family members
  • Answers simple “Who?” “What?” “Where?” and “Why?” questions
  • Talks about activities at daycare, preschool or friends’ homes
  • Uses sentences with four or more words
  • Speaks easily without having to repeat syllables or words

Speech

is a verbal way of communicating and consists of the following:
  • Articulation: How speech sounds are made (e.g., the “l” sound is needed in order to say “silly” instead of “siwwy”).
  • Voice: Use of vocal chords and breathing to produce sound.
  • Fluency: The rhythm of speech (e.g., stuttering or hesitating can affect fluency).

When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she has a language disorder.

When a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder.

Resource: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Language

is a set of socially shared rules including:
  • What words mean (a glass can be something you drink from or what is in a window)
  • How to make new words (fall, fell, fallen).
  • How to put words together (“Come upstairs with me” instead of “Come uptairs me”).
  • What word combinations are best in what situations (“Close the door” can then be “Close the door, it’s cold!” if the first request wasn’t successful).

Different methods

we use to offer a way to communicate include:
  • Sign language and gestures
  • Pictures
  • Eye gaze systems
  • Switch use for cause/effect
  • Voice output devices
  • Environmental controls to facilitate independence

If the words just are not coming yet, let us help you find your child’s voice!

Complete Speech and Smart Palate System

We’re the only clinic in the northwest Indiana area providing services using the Complete Speech and Smart Palate System.

We use electropalatography as a therapy tool to facilitate correct placement for children who have challenges with oral-motor skills or severe articulation delays. This means a device is custom-made to fit the roof of the mouth (palate) of each client (by a dental professional), covered with sensors, it then plugs into a computer and provides visual feedback of tongue placement. When the child has a visual of where they are supposed to put their tongue, it can be helpful in producing the sound. The device itself does not electronically correct the speech, but it is an effective tool for helping a client “see” how to make the sound correctly.

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