Pediatric Speech Therapy Services
We treat a variety of pediatric speech disorders and conditions, including:
- Articulation Disorders
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Disorders
- Myofunctional Disorder/Tongue Thrust
- Language Difficulties Associated with Auditory Processing Disorder
- Receptive and Expressive Language Delays
- Social Communication/Language Problems Due to Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Feeding and Swallowing Disorders
Pediatric Speech Therapy Treatments
Pediatric Language Therapy
Language therapy helps improve the understanding and use of age-appropriate vocabulary, concepts and syntax, from the grammar of a child just learning to speak to the written composition skills of a high school student. Many of our patients are ages newborn to 3 years old and require some help getting their communication skills started.
Pediatric Feeding Swallowing Program
A swallowing disorder, also called dysphagia, is a difficulty or malfunction in some part of the swallowing process. Videofluoroscopic swallow studies diagnose a child's swallowing disorder and help us determine the most appropriate treatment, including feeding/swallowing therapy. We also offer neuromuscular electric muscle stimulation to help strengthen the swallowing muscles. Our speech-language pathologists were among the first in the state of Florida to be certified in this Pediatric VitalStim therapy.
For sensory behavior-based feeding problems, such as "picky eaters" or difficulty gaining weight. These children often have a limited variety of food and liquids they will accept and/or difficulty tolerating certain food textures. The patient and family work closely together to follow a hierarchy of tolerance to help the child.
Pediatric Articulation Therapy
Some children have difficulty with the physical production of individual speech sounds, making their speech difficult to understand. This may be a result of incorrect placement of the lips, teeth, tongue or even the soft palate during speech, resulting in inaccurate production of certain sounds. The "s," "th" and "r" sounds are especially difficult to master.
In articulation therapy, activities and/or exercises for the tongue, jaw and lips are often used to improve awareness, mobility and coordination necessary for precise speech.
Language Therapy for Auditory Processing Disorder
Children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) have difficulty processing discrete sounds or whole words or phrases. They often miss parts of messages or misunderstand information. APD is often identified in first or second grade when the classroom's auditory load significantly increases.
By improving phonemic awareness and understanding of directions, language therapy helps children better comprehend the spoken word so they can succeed in school.
Myofunctional/Tongue Thrust Therapy
A tongue thrust is a forward push of the tongue upon swallowing due to muscle weakness. Children requiring myofunctional therapy demonstrate a pattern of tongue thrust which either impairs speech clarity or causes orthodontic issues. Speech pathologists assess myofunctional swallow and treat it through a series of exercises. Dentists refer children to speech therapy since orthodontic issues can't be addressed until the tongue thrust is corrected.
Children who experience symptoms such as hoarseness, breathy or nasal voice quality, or voice loss often have a voice disorder. Working with your child's ENT, the speech therapist develops a treatment program to improve vocal quality.
Children who stutter have difficulty speaking smoothly and easily. Stuttering includes getting stuck on, repeating and prolonging sounds, syllables and words. We offer a special parent instruction program to promote fluent speech in children in the beginning stages of stuttering. Treatment includes stuttering education and instruction for both the parents and child and active management of the stuttering.
To learn more about pediatric speech therapy services by participating in a free screening or reviewing our frequently asked questions.