Have you noticed that your child doesn’t seem to be speaking or forming words like other kids his age? Has your child been diagnosed with a developmental disorder that has a speech or language component to it?
If your answer is yes, it’s possible that you right now you’re scared or frustrated or…maybe even feeling a little hopeless. Take a deep breath. You are in the right place.
At CTS Dallas, we are uniquely qualified to accurately diagnose and treat speech and language disorders.
An individual with a speech disorder may have trouble saying words clearly or with a stutter. An individual with a language disorder will likely have trouble understanding words or communicating clearly- reading, writing or talking. They may even talk a lot but have difficulty getting to the point so others ant follow their train of thought.
Speech and language disorders are found in children, teens, and adults and take on a number of forms. They are often caused by earlier hearing loss stemming from illnesses or allergies, psychological issues, developmental delays, muscular disorders, brain damage or cognitive challenges. They require the right combination of therapies.
Some of the most common Speech and Language Disorders include the following:
- Speech Delay: typically characterized by a child not attempting to make verbal communication as would be expected with someone his age. There is a myriad of factors that can cause speech delay- from a simple “late bloomer” to listening challenges, brain damage or disorders with the speech muscles.
- Phonological Disorder: most common childhood speech production disorder of mispronouncing sounds in words. Most common sound errors include “k,g,l,sh,ch,s,z,r,th.”
- Delays in understanding language and verbal expression cause difficulties in following directions, limited vocabulary, grammar errors, immature understanding of space, time, size, and quantity relationships.
- Apraxia of Speech (AOS): characterized by a disruption between the brain and a child’s speech muscles. Individual s with Apraxia of Speech may also be affected byt listening challenges. Often affects sentence length and complexity characterized by words deleted from sentences and grammar errors.
- Stuttering: this incredibly common disorder is easily recognized. While most children who experience it “grow out” of it with a little therapy, some cases can be severed and require more intensive treatment. Stuttering frequently has a disruption of auditory and/or visual sequencing and timing in the neurological system.
- Selective Mutism: often seen in nervous or shy children, selective mutism means that a child can speak but chooses not to in most situations. The root causes are considered psychological anxiety. Many of these individuals also have sensory processing disorders of gravitational insecurity, bilateral coordination and auditory/ visual processing issues that underlie their anxiety.
- Autism: a child with autism will often have delayed or reduced speech and language capabilities. A hallmark of autism are deficits in understanding and utilizing social relationship cues. Auditory processing deficits along with multi sensory processing deficits are prevalent in autism. These difficulties will fall on a spectrum and can range from the unusual inflection of voice to verbal apraxia and muteness. They often have difficulty with other executive function skills like self regulation, task initiation/ completion, making predictions, and sustained focus and attention.
The good news is that most speech and language disorders are treatable.
The key to success is the right evaluation and a treatment plan that’s designed specifically for each individual’s needs.
At CTS Dallas, we derive strategies gleaned from traditional speech therapy as well as other disciplines. Our strategies may include elements learned from cross-training to create postural support, achieve improved calm, focused attention and generalization of communication with competing activities. We collaborate closely with like-minded practitioners in occupational therapy, functional neurology, kinesiology, psychology, biomedical treatment, holistic dentistry, and developmental optometry.
Jane Shook, our founder, is world-renowned for her innovative and highly effective approaches to treatment. We adhere to her credo: a wise teacher makes learning fun.
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