Language

Children’s Services : Language

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism is a complex developmental disability that causes problems with social interaction and communication.  Symptoms usually start before age three and can cause delays or problems in many different skills that develop from infancy to adulthood. Different people with autism can have very different symptoms.  Health care providers think of autism as a “spectrum” disorder, a group of disorders with similar features.  One person may have mild symptoms, while another may have serious symptoms.  But they both have an autism spectrum disorder.

Currently, the autism spectrum disorder category includes:

  • Autistic disorder (also called “classic” autism)
  • Asperger syndrome
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (or atypical autism)

In some cases, health care providers use a broader term, pervasive developmental disorder, to describe autism.  This category includes the autism spectrum disorders above, plus Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Rett Syndrome.

    Our Treatment Program:

  • Evaluation, interpretation, and recommendations by a certified speech-language pathologist
  • Customized treatment programs based on individual needs
  • Indivudually scheduled therapy sessions

Delayed Language Development

Language delay is a failure to develop language abilities on the usual developmental timetable. Language delay is distinct from speech delay, in which the speech mechanism itself is the focus of delay. Thus, language delay refers specifically to a delay in the development of the underlying knowledge of language, rather than its implementation. Language delay is commonly divided into receptive and expressive categories. Receptive language refers to the process of understanding what is said to us. Expressive language refers to the use of words and sentences to communicate what we think, need, or want. Both categories are fundamental in order to be able to communicate with others as well as to understand when others communicate with us.

    Our Treatment Program:

  • Evaluation, interpretation, and recommendations by a certified speech-language pathologist
  • Customized treatment programs based on individual needs
  • Indivudually scheduled therapy sessions

Links:

Learning Disorders

Learning disorders are a classification including several disorders in which a person has difficulty learning in a typical manner, usually caused by an unknown factor or factors. The unknown factor is the disorder that affects the brain’s ability to receive and process information. This disorder can make it problematic for a person to learn as quickly or in the same way as someone who is not affected by a learning disability. People with a learning disability have trouble performing specific types of skills or completing tasks if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.

Our Treatment Program:

  • Evaluation, interpretation, and recommendations by a certified speech-language pathologist
  • Customized treatment programs based on individual needs

Auditory Processing Disorders

Auditory processing skills are a hierarchy of skills that are basic to the listening and communication process that affect the acquisition and mastery of both spoken and written language skills. These skills are sequential in development. However, the boundaries of each are not well defined resulting in overlap and are, essentially, inseparable. (Bellis, 1996; Educational Audiology Association, 1996)

Jerger and Musiek (2000) state that “Children and adults with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) are a heterogeneous group of people who have difficulty using auditory information to communicate and learn. APD is a set of problems that occurs in different listening tasks. It is a deficit in the processing of auditory input which may be exacerbated in unfavorable acoustic environments and is associated with difficulty listening for speech-language understanding, language development and learning.”

Simply stated auditory processing is what you do with what you hear.

It is important to know that there is no “cure” for auditory processing disorder.

    According to “best practices” there are three approaches for working with auditory processing disorder:

  • Direct therapeutic intervention that is determined by the speech-language pathologist or audiologist working with the child.
  • Environmental modifications. These are changes in the home and classroom that will enhance the child’s listening ability. These recommendations are made by the speech-language pathologist or audiologist working with your child.
  • Compensatory strategies. These are specific strategies that can be used by the child to learn to listen more effectively.
    Our Treatment Program:

  • Evaluation, interpretation, and recommendations by a certified speech-language pathologist
  • Customized treatment programs based on individual needs

Links:

Augmentative Communication

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) are the communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. It includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures, use symbols or pictures, or write. AAC systems are extremely diverse: unaided communication uses no equipment and includes signing and body language, while aided approaches use external tools and range from pictures and communication boards to speech generating devices. The symbols used in AAC include gestures, photographs, pictures, line drawings, letters and words, which can be used alone or in combination. Body parts, pointers, adapted mice, or eye tracking can be used to select target symbols directly, and switch access scanning is often used for indirect selection.

People with severe speech or language problems rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth.

AAC users should not stop using speech if they are able to do so. The AAC aids and devices are used to enhance their communication.

    Our Treatment Program:

  • Evaluation, interpretation, and recommendations by a certified speech-language pathologist
  • Customized treatment programs based on individual needs
  • Individually scheduled therapy sessions

Links:

We do not participate in IEPs, Due Process Hearings or Fair Hearings. If you require follow up information beyond the evaluation report, you may request a letter of support for additional information that you may need for your child.