At Building Blocks Pediatric Therapy we specialize in treating speech and language difficulties that meet your child’s needs.
What is Speech Therapy ?
Children need communication in order to be able to express their thoughts, ideas, wants and needs in all environments.
Play and social skills are needed as a foundation to language, and to be an active communication partner within their families and communities.
At Building Blocks, our speech therapists focus on development of communication, language, and social skills in order to foster this growth.
We work on improving the following skills:
Although we see a variety of other diagnoses, we specialize in treating speech and language difficulties that meet your child’s needs.
What makes us special?
We value family participation by providing communication strategies and parent coaching suggestions that improve confidence in the caregiver’s role as a communication partner.
In addition to a family based approach, we also collaborate with our occupational therapists and applied behavior analysis team in order to provide well-rounded and comprehensive services to our patients.
ASHA’S (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s) BIG 9:
This includes the motor speech aspect of speech and language. Speech pathologists use their knowledge of anatomy and physiology to aid patients in producing correct phoneme sounds. For example, if you notice your child producing /w/ for /l/ or /r/ sounds (i.e. wing🡪 ring) this is considered an error at the articulation level. Articulation errors are described as a substitution, omission, addition, and distortion with one or more sounds with no specific pattern.
A fluency disorder is considered an interruption in the flow of speaking as a result of the following patterns: atypical rate, atypical rhythm, repetitions of sounds, syllables, and words, prolongations, and blocks. These also may be accompanied by tension in the face/body and speaking avoidance, as well as have an impact on emotional, social, and functional aspects of life. During speech and language development, children are sometimes noticed to produce typical disfluencies. If you have concerns about your child’s speech fluency, contact us for an evaluation today.
Voice and resonance:
This aspect of speech refers to the sounds produced by the vocal folds and vocal tract including the pharynx, oral cavity, and nasal cavity. The sound and quality of a child’s voice is dependent upon the size, shape, and functioning of these areas as well as other aspects including tongue position and degree of the mouth opening. Resonance disorders arise from too much or too little nasal and/or oral sound energy which can result from structural or functional abnormalities. Voice disorders occur when the quality, pitch, or loudness differ or are inappropriate for an individual’s age, gender, cultural background, or geographic location.
An expressive language disorder is one in which the child struggles to get their message across to other people. A receptive language disorder is one in which they struggle to understand and process the messages and information they receive from others. Some children may have a mixed receptive-expressive language disorder in which they have symptoms of both types of disorders. This may result in children having trouble following directions, building and understanding diverse vocabulary, and effectively communicating wants and needs. Click the link below to view the current milestones of receptive and expressive language skills according to the CDC.
Cognition includes the areas of attention, concentration, orientation, word finding, memory, and executive functioning skills such as problem solving and reasoning. Difficulties in these areas can affect verbal and nonverbal communication including speaking, listening, reading, writing, and social interaction skills. In turn, difficulties can affect daily living and academic performance. Speech pathologists work with the child and family in order to establish supplemental supports and techniques to aid in these areas such as memory/recall activities, journaling, and creating lists and visuals among others.
Children who have speech difficulties may be having an unrecognized hearing challenge that is the root cause. Identifying when a child has a hearing loss early can help them avoid social, academic and behavioral problems. If your child is displaying speech difficulties as a result of hearing problems, a speech therapist can work towards correcting these delays. You may want to schedule a hearing evaluation if you notice your child is not attending to their name, not following simple directions, showing delays in speech and language development, has persistent ear infections, or is having troubles academically.
During development, children learn the process of feeding and swallowing. This can include the process of sucking/nursing, drinking from a bottle, chewing solid foods, and drinking from a cup. If feeding or swallowing problems are noted, you may see difficulties in one of three phrases of swallowing: the oral phase (the initial chewing/sucking and moving food into the throat), the pharyngeal phase (starting the swallow and closing off the airway to prevent aspiration of foods/liquids), and the esophageal phase (transporting food from the esophagus to the stomach for eventual digestion). The SLP may work on strengthening oral muscles, changing food textures and liquid thickness, and improving tongue movement, among other swallowing and feeding techniques.
Social communication is often viewed as a form of communication that is ‘unwritten.’ Communication in this area includes interaction with family, friends, teachers, caregivers, and others. Children who have difficulties in this area may have difficulty understanding and using appropriate facial expressions, eye contact, and body language. Furthermore, they may have trouble with turn-taking in play and conversation, may interrupt others or respond inappropriately, or may have difficulties understanding idioms/non-literal language.
Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) is a way to communicate without verbal language. This can include writing/typing to communicate, sign language, or a speech generating device. At Building Blocks, we trial different communication programs to assess the best fit for your child including: LAMP, Snap + Core, TouchChat and Proloquo2go. We provide treatment with AAC, family training and training for other service providers.