Pediatric Speech Therapy
Our child-centered speech/language program focuses on helping children communicate more effectively. Therapy centers on improving the child’s ability to comprehend others and express himself or herself in order to decrease communicative frustration. Emerge’s speech/language pathologists work closely with families to create effective home programs to reinforce communication skills learned during therapy.
Our Speech/Language Pathologists are trained in DIR/Floortime strategies to increase engagement and purposeful interaction. We use a play-based approach, building on the child’s interests to encourage and enhance communication.
Additional Specialty Services:
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) is used to establish (or re-establish) normal oral rest postures and muscle functions of the mouth. Myofunctional therapy occurs as a part of a collaborative team to improve the child’s quality of life. Treatment goals may include: eliminate any harmful sucking habit (thumb-sucking/pacifier/prolonged use of sippy cups), establish nasal breathing patterns, normalize tongue, lip, and teeth resting postures, and improve functional chewing and swallowing.
Speech-Language Pathologists make great reading tutors, because they have extensive knowledge of and experience treating many other challenges related to development of reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. We have one Speech Therapist in our Durham location with formal training in Orton Gillingham, Visualizing & Verbalizing, and LiPS.
Feeding Therapy with our occupational therapists primarily use the SOS Approach to Feeding to support children who have significantly restricted diets. SOS works to increase the range of foods that a child will eat. This program can be implemented in individual or group settings and includes a significant parent involvement and education component to ensure home carryover.
In our Durham location we have one Speech Therapist with training in tethered oral tissues (tongue and lip ties) and feeding for the 6-16 month old. In our Cary location we have one Speech Therapist who tethered oral tissues (tongue and lip ties), infant feeding and is a lactation consultant.
Other well-known treatment approaches in which our Speech/Language Pathologists have received advanced training include:
- Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
- Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program (LiPS)
- Visualizing and Verbalizing
- Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol
- The S.O.S. Approach to Feeding
- The Hanen Program
- Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
- Orton Gillingham
- Snap+ Core
Here are some signs of speech/language delays or disorders:
- Late-talking (no words by 1 1/2 , or no 2-word combinations by 2 ½)
- Difficult to understand, even for familiar listeners
- Difficulty producing consonant sounds
- Inability to participate in a back-and-forth conversation
- Inability to answer yes/no or wh- ?s
- Poor reading skills
- Difficulty answering questions about a reading passage (detail ?s, main idea, and predictions)
- Difficulty following complex or multi-step directions
- Difficulty remembering information presented in the classroom
Does Your Child Have Delays in Speech and Language Skills?
AT 9 MONTHS, DOES YOUR CHILD:
- Attend to a speaker and pictures.
- Recognize the names of family members.
- Produce several different syllables.
- Vocalize to get attention.
AT 12 MONTHS, DOES YOUR CHILD:
- Understand simple questions.
- Participate in speech routine games (e.g., peekaboo, pat-a-cake).
- Use 1-2 words.
AT 18 MONTHS, DOES YOUR CHILD:
- Have at least ten words.
- Use simple gestures (waves, claps, points).
- Make sustained eye contact and engage your attention.
- Persist in communication attempts to get you to do something.
- Understand a variety of simple words/commands without a gesture.
AT 24 MONTHS, DOES YOUR CHILD:
- Use over 50 words to communicate.
- Use several consonant sounds, including: p, b, m, t, d, n, h.
- Use several two word combinations (daddy car; more cookie).
- Use mostly words to communicate.
- Follow a variety of directions.
AT 36 MONTHS, DOES YOUR CHILD:
- Engage in conversation.
- Use language in imaginative ways.
- Ask questions.
- Use more consonant sounds: k, g, f, t, d, n, m, b, p, h.
- Respond appropriately to yes/no and wh- questions.
- Follows 2-sep directions.
- Use early-developing grammatical markers (plural “s”, “-ing”, etc.)
AT 48 MONTHS, DOES YOUR CHILD:
- Carry on conversations with adult-like grammar.
- Use pronouns: I, me, s/he, you appropriately.
- Ask and answer questions (e.g., who?, how?, how many? why?)
- Engage in complex pretend verbal play.
- Speech is understood by non-family members most of the time.
- Use more consonant sounds: p, d, m, w, h, n, t, b, k, g, f, v, y.
AT 60 MONTHS, DOES YOUR CHILD:
- Participate in long, detailed conversations.
- Talk about past, future, and imaginative events.
- Retell stories or events.
- Follows three-step directions.
- Correctly produce speech sounds: p, d, m, w, h, n, t, b, k, g, f, v, y, s, z, j, th, sh, ch, l.
Understanding School-Age Speech/Language Disorders
Below are some guidelines for speech/language developmental expectations in school-age children:
BY THE END OF 1ST GRADE, A CHILD SHOULD BE ABLE TO:
- Follow 2-3 step directions in order.
- Remember information and respond to instruction.
- Retell stories and events in a logical sequence.
- Correctly produce all speech sounds, including the more difficult r, l, and s sounds.
- Be understood nearly 100% of the time, even by new listeners and in new situations.
- Speak fluently without frequent interruptions or repetitions.
- Start conversations, take turns, and stay on topic.
- Produce rhymes.
BY THE END OF 2ND GRADE, A CHILD SHOULD BE ABLE TO:
- Answer questions about a grade-level story.
- Understand concept words (e.g., time, location, quality, quantity).
- Use complex sentence structures.
- Use language to inform, persuade, and entertain.
- Read and paraphrase a story.
- Explain key elements of a story.
- Organize writing to include a beginning, middle, and end.
- Progress to more accurate spelling.
BY THE END OF 3RD GRADE, A CHILD SHOULD BE ABLE TO:
- Participate in conversations and group discussions.
- Use appropriate vocabulary.
- Predict, justify, compare, and contrast.
- Include details in writing.
- Identify and correct most spelling errors independently.
- Plan, organize, revise, and edit writing.
BY THE END OF 4TH GRADE, A CHILD SHOULD BE ABLE TO:
- Understand and use some figurative language.
- Follow written directions.
- Make inferences from written material.
- Write multi-paragraph stories.
BY THE END OF 5TH GRADE, A CHILD SHOULD BE ABLE TO:
- Plan and make oral presentations geared to a specific audience.
- Maintain eye contact and use appropriate gestures and facial expressions.
- Understand and use root words, prefixes, and suffixes.
- Develop a character and plot.
- Write for a variety of purposes.