What is Speech and Language Therapy?
Speech and Language Therapy includes the evaluation and treatment of clients who have difficulties with articulation, receptive and expressive language, cognitive language, and social communication skills. At Auburn Therapy and Learning Center, our Speech-Language Pathologists are licensed, accredited and specifically trained to evaluate and treat a variety of speech and language disorders. Please take the time to explore the disorders in which we specialize.
Fluency in speech implies a continuous rate and flow. A fluency disorder, sometimes referred to as stuttering, is typically characterized by repetitions (sound, syllable, word), blocking, prolongations and interjections. These behaviors may negatively impact the speakers’ rhythm and/or rate of speech. The initial onset of stuttering often occurs during childhood.
Cluttering, another fluency disorder, is identified by an irregular rate of speech, which may result in difficulties regarding clarity and/or fluency of speech.
Fluency disorders can greatly affect a person in a school setting, work setting or social relationships. Those who experience fluency difficulties may show signs of anxiety about speaking and interacting with others.
Articulation refers to the coherent forming and pronunciation of the individual sounds used to compose words, phrases and sentences. An articulation disorder refers to a general difficulty in creating certain sounds. Sometimes sounds are omitted, added, modified or substituted. Articulation difficulties can be present in children, as well as adults. For example, a child may substitute a “w” in place of an “r” (“wabbit” for “rabbit”). An adult post-stroke or after experiencing a traumatic brain injury may exhibit difficulty with articulation skills.
A phonological disorder refers to sound errors produced in a pattern. For example, substituting all sounds produced in the back of the mouth (“k” and “g”) with those produced in the front (“t” and “d”). When this error pattern occurs, the following words are produced: “tat” for “cat” or “dum” for “gum”. There are many other phonological processing disorders such as consonant cluster reduction, final consonant deletion and weak syllable deletion.
Aphasia, which is frequently caused by a stroke, is a communication disorder resulting from damage to areas of the brain housing language. Neurological disorders and traumatic brain injuries can also be the cause of aphasia. It can affect verbal expression, receptive language, reading and writing.
Receptive Language Disorder
A receptive language disorder refers to difficulties understanding oral language. This type of disorder can create problems following directions, as well as processing and organizing information. A receptive language disorder can impact social skills such as conversational turn-taking, eye contact and body language.
Expressive Language Disorder
An expressive language disorder involves difficulty expressing thoughts, wants and needs. Some signs include the following: limited expressive vocabulary, difficulty learning new words, frustration due to difficulty expressing thoughts and decreased use of verbal expression in general.
Social Communication Disorder
Social language, or pragmatics, is a vital component to appropriate social interactions. Difficulties with pragmatics may be present in adults after a stroke or brain injury, as well as in children. Some signs of pragmatic issues include difficulty with topic maintenance, eye contact, appropriate greetings, facial expressions and tone of voice. Often times those with pragmatic difficulties will say inappropriate things and converse with others in a disorganized manner.
**Each new patient will be given an extensive evaluation. Our clinicians will assess and develop tailored treatment plans to best suit the individual needs of our clients. In some cases, a multi discipline collaboration between our clinicians may be necessary to formulate the best treatment plan. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office and one of our clinicians will be glad to answer your questions.