Assessment – Preschool and School Aged
Before the child is seen, Shelley will talk to the parent or caregiver to learn about your concerns and about the child’s development.
The initial assessment focuses on identifying the errors as well as the factors that may be impacting your child’s ability to produce or sequence sounds accurately in connected speech. For young children or preschoolers, the testing will feel like playing with toys and games. Parents are encouraged to remain in the testing room.
For the school aged child, the assessment may feel a bit more like school. Your child will be asked to point, repeat, and answer questions about a short story. Parents are encouraged to remain in the room so that they will better understand the problems of their child.
The length of sessions is based on the child’s needs and what’s needed to improve your child’s communication competency.
Treatment methods include Hanen, PROMPT (gently move the lips and jaw into position), oral motor, Kaufman Speech and Language Protocol, multisensory (using putty to control finger movements), and specific straws and horns (if necessary in order to produce correct sounds). All methods are surrounded with positive reinforcement.
Shelley also uses structured play to encourage specific linguistic phrases and sentences. She uses rhyming games, puzzles, worksheets, and apps to build a foundation of literacy.
Shelley will discuss the findings with the parents based on the test results and the parents’ observations during testing. A written report will follow.
Parents and caregivers are invited to attend the therapy sessions and be involved in the planning goals.
Open Extended Hours for Your Needs
This office offers flexible weekday and weekend hours. Spring/Summer space is available. Home visits available if required. Request a free telephone consultation.
ORAL FACIAL MYO-FUNCTIONAL DISORDER
With OMD, the tongue moves too far forward in an exaggerated way during speech and/or swallowing. The tongue may lie too far forward during rest or may protrude between the upper and lower teeth during speech and swallowing, and at rest.
Shelley is a graduate of the Oral Facial Best Posture Programme that together with her background knowledge and training as an SLP has provided her with a structured program to improve neuro-motor re-education of tongue and lips.
LANGUAGE DELAY AND DISORDERS
An expressive language disorder refers to children who have problems getting their message or meaning across to others using speech. Their sentences are often short, use improper grammar, and have a lack of vocabulary. Yet, these children may have the same ability to understand speech as their peers do.
Receptive language disorders refer to children who have difficulty understanding the message coming from others.
Children can have expressive language disorder; some can have this mixed with other disorders.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe.
ARTICULATION/SPEECH SOUND ERRORS
This refers to difficulty with the pronunciation of sounds and words. Children do make sound errors, and correct speech becomes easier as the child masters tongue motor skills, but sometimes children hold onto these immature patterns. Each sound is mastered by a certain age. Sounds can be substituted, left off, added, or changed. If the sound errors persist past a certain age range, the child does have an articulation delay.
A phonological disorder also refers to sound errors, but the errors follow certain patterns. For example, all k or g sounds are changed to a d or t sound. Another example is two consonant sounds being reduced to one consonant: “poon” for spoon or “back” for black.
The disorders related to autism, developmental delays, learning disabilities, pervasive developmental disorders, and other neurocognitive disorders all have the same types of characteristics: communication difficulties due to repeating and echoing but do not answer properly, poor eye contact/social difficulties, repetitive behaviors, remaining flexible. They also have difficulties understanding expressions, understanding the intended message of the speaker or the passage they have just read, and making inferences and predictions.
Like many disorders, the severity can range from severe to high-functioning.
A high-functioning autistic child or adolescent usually has delays in both expressive and receptive language. They also have difficulties initiating and maintaining conversations; cannot use language with flexibility; cling to the observable features of a character in a story without understanding the underlying meaning; are unaware of humour/sarcasm or of phrases that are abstract or have double meanings; have a restricted range of activities; and seem unaware of another person’s feelings. They also have difficulties with what has been recently referred to as executive-functioning skills: organization, planning, setting priorities, remaining focused in order to achieve goals, and self-monitoring behaviour.