Apraxia of speech is a neurogenic speech disorder characterized by sensorimotor problems in positioning and sequencing the correct sounds of a word. Apraxia is not caused by muscle weakness of neuromuscular slowness. Individuals with apraxia of speech may have difficulty saying what they would like to say.
The symptoms of apraxia of speech include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty putting sounds and syllables together in the correct order to form words.
- Say a difficult word correctly but then have trouble repeating it.
- Appear to be groping for the right sound or word and may try saying a word several times before they say it correctly.
- Incorrect use of “prosody”- that is, the varying rhythms, stresses, and inflections of speech that are used to help express meaning.
- Can understand language much better than they are able to use language to express themselves.
Articulation refers to the correct production of speech sounds. Articulation errors occur due to faulty placement, timing, direction, pressure, speed or integration of the movement of the lips, tongue, velum, palate and pharynx.
There are several common articulation errors which include:
- Additions-the insertion of a sound not part of the word itself
Ex: puhlease for please
- Distortions-the sound is acceptable for listeners but is produced incorrectly. Ex: s is slushy or sounds like it is coming out of the sides of the mouth
- Omissions- is the absence of a sound Ex: painer for painter
- Substitutions-is the replacement of one speech sound for another Ex: thoe for shoe
AAC is any device, system or method that improves the ability of a child with communication impairment to communicate effectively. Although AAC is often used to refer to formal communication devices and systems such as sign language, communication boards or voice output communication aids (VOCAs), it can include less sophisticated means of communication such as facial expressions, non-speech vocalizations, idiosyncratic gestures, etc.
AAC is used when a child does not develop communication in the normal fashion, or experiences a significant delay in its development. AAC is not merely a substitute for how the child is currently communicating. It is used to augment that communication, replacing only elements that are unintelligible, socially unacceptable, or harmful to the child or others. Ideally, an AAC system includes more than one mode of communication, with the child using whichever is the most efficient given the persons, setting and activity at hand. Very often one of the modes of communication in an AAC program is natural speech.
Broadly speaking, communication occurs with at least one other person and in the context of the environment, and serves the following functions:
- To indirectly control the environment, for example to obtain or reject something.
- To regulate social interactions, for example to express an emotion or to interact with a friend.
- To receive and convey information and ideas.
Examples of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)
- Low-tech systems. Simple paper or object based systems, i.e. do not require a battery.
- Light-tech systems. Simple voice output devices, which require a battery; although no sophisticated charging mechanism is required.
- High-tech systems. Sophisticated voice output devices, which require a battery, as well as training and ongoing support.
Children with autism and related disorders exhibit deficits in social-communication skills such as language, imitation, emotion sharing, play, and social interaction skills. In addition, they also may have some associated behavioral difficulties such as aggression, severe tantrums, difficulty with transitions, self-stimulatory behavior and may exhibit delayed cognitive or self-help skills. When a child has a confirmed or possible diagnosis of autism, the family plays an especially key role in their child’s treatment program. We work together with families to support their child’s social-communication, behavioral and emotional growth.
At Speak Easy Solutions, LLC we provide state-of-the-art intervention for children with autism and related disorders. Our therapists rely on the latest scientific research in designing treatment programs for children and their families. The goal of our autism intervention services is to increase social-communication skills and address related behavioral challenges in children with autism and related disorders. This program is built on an interdisciplinary model including professionals from the fields of speech-language pathology, behavioral/developmental therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy with a specialty in working with children and their families.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder is the impaired ability to attend, discriminate, recognize or comprehend auditory information even though hearing and intelligence are within normal limits.
Symptoms of Central Auditory Processing Disorder include but are not limited to:
- Individual easily distracted or bothered by loud noises
- Individual is upset in noisy environments
- Individual’s performance improves in quieter enviornments
- Individual has difficulty following simple and complex commands
- Individual has difficulties with reading, spelling and writing
- Individual is disorganized
- Individual has difficulty following conversations
Fluency is the smoothness in which sounds, syllables, words and phrases are joined together during oral language. A fluency disorder is any interruption in the flow of oral language.
The following are the major types of dysfluencies and their examples:
Part-Word Repetitions – Repetition of a part of a word, sound or syllable.
Ex: S-S-S Sunday
Ex: Su-Su-Su- Sunday
Whole-Word Repetitions – Repetition of an entire word more than once.
Ex: I-I-I love the Cubs
Ex: They-they-they will win
Phrase Repetitions – Repetition of more than one word. Ex: I am-I am- I am a Cubs fan
Sound Prolongations -Where the sound is held out for a duration of time.
Silent Prolongations – A silent period where the lips are closed and pursed ready to produce the sound but nothing comes out.
Interjections – Can be sound or syllable interjections, word and phrase interjections.
Broken words – Silent intervals within the words. Ex: Be—fore you talk
Incomplete Sentences – Described as incomplete sentences. Ex: Last night I…Last night…we went to see the Cubs
Revisions – Changes in wording that do not change the overall meaning of the sentence or phrase.
Ex: Let’s have a drink–coffee
Oral motor skills refers to how articulators such as the tongue, lips and muscles of the face work together to produce effective movements. Oral motor skills affect controlling saliva secretions, eating, drinking and speaking.
Phonological Awareness refers to the awareness of the sound structure of language. It is the ability to manipulate and think about the structure of language. Phonological awareness is the knowledge that words are made from sounds. This can affect the following:
- Syllabification and rhyming as discussed above are the first skills
- Blending sounds into words such as “f–i—sh” is “fish”
- Isolating the beginning or ending sounds in a word i.e. “fish” starts with “f” “boat” ends with “t”
- Segmenting words into sounds i.e. “what sounds are in the word ‘dish’-d—i—sh”
- Deleting the beginning or ending sound and telling what word remains i.e. “say ‘beat’ now say it again without the ‘b’—eat
A voice disorder is defined as any deviation in pitch, intensity, quality, or other basic vocal attribute which consistently interferes with communication, draws unfavorable attention, adversely affects the speaker or the listener, or is inappropriate to the age, sex, culture, or class of the individual.
Language is used for talking to and with others, to signal needs, intentions, feelings, and thoughts. Language is also used for self-talking (thinking), and for controlling and directing one’s own behavior as well as for controlling and directing the behavior of others. It involves the understanding and use of words and word combinations.
A language disorder is the impairment in the ability to understand and/or use words in context, both verbally and nonverbally. Some characteristics of language disorders include improper use of words and their meanings, inability to express ideas, inappropriate grammatical patterns, reduced vocabulary and inability to follow directions. One or a combination of these characteristics may occur in children who are affected by language learning disabilities or developmental language delay. Children may hear or see a word, but not be able to understand its meaning. They may have trouble getting others to understand what they are trying to communicate. An evaluation will identify your child’s difficulty understanding and/or using language. Therapy will help your child learn to use language appropriately and accurately.