School of Health and Human Services

Speech-language services for children

Speech-language and communication assessment and intervention services are provided for children in the following areas:

Common diagnoses of children who may receive speech-language services:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism, Asperger syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and other Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cognitive Delays
  • Developmental Delay or Disability
  • Down syndrome
  • Head injury or Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Learning disability

Augmentative communication services

Difficulty: Child is non-verbal or speech is severely limited. Non-speech communication methods are needed for effective communication at this time.

Resulting from:

  • Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Physical limitations
  • Other causes

Therapy emphasis: Developing successful communication through a variety or modes, while enhancing verbal skills to the highest level possible.

Language delays:

Difficulty: Speaking, listening, communicating, reading or writing which impacts a child’s learning and daily social interactions.

Resulting from:

  • Asperger syndrome
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), or other autistic spectrum disorders
  • Brain injury
  • Cognitive Delay
  • Developmental delay
  • Down syndrome
  • General delay in acquiring language skills
  • Genetic syndromes
  • Head Injury
  • Hearing impairment
  • Learning disability
  • Unknown origin

Therapy emphasis: Improving language skills for more effective communication and learning.

Speech Sound or Articulation Delays:

Difficulty: Speech sounds are unclear and hard for others to understand.

Resulting from:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cleft palate
  • Delay in acquiring age appropriate speech sounds
  • Developmental Apraxia of Speech
  • Genetic syndrome
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Oral motor delays/impairment
  • Phonological impairment
  • Unknown origin

Therapy emphasis: Facilitating clear speech development for effective communication.

Stuttering or Fluency Disorders:

Difficulty: Disruptions to the natural flow of speech in the form of repetitions, blocks or prolongations that interfere with the ability to communicate.

Resulting from:

  • Congenital factors (high fever, lack of oxygen at birth, bump on the head, exposure to toxins during pregnancy) in infancy or early development.
    Environmental factors (such as how parents talk or act, copying someone who stutters, or moving to a new town) do not cause stuttering. Only if a person has biological damage to the part of the brain that plans speech, then environmental factors may precipitate the stutter to emerge at a certain time rather than a later time.
  • The Cause of Stuttering: Genetic and Brain Scanning Study Results

Therapy emphasis: Improving overall speech fluency and communication effectiveness through direct intervention or family training.

Voice disorders or hoarseness:

Difficulty: Disturbances in vocal quality resulting in the production of voice characterized by harshness, hoarseness, nasality or other faulty patterns. Respiratory disorders related to laryngeal functioning.

Resulting from:

  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic laryngitis
  • Emphysema
  • Laryngeal webbing
  • Paradoxical vocal fold movement dysfunction (PVFM)
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Vocal misuse/abuse (e.g. excessive screaming or loud voice)
  • Other medical conditions

Therapy emphasis: Improving voice quality and function through direct intervention and environmental changes.

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