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The Community Speech Language and Learning Center provides a variety of services to infants, children, adolescents, and adults. Our continued ability to integrate new techniques into our treatment allows for a greater level of progress to all of our clients that we service.

Child Services

Treatment of children requires sensitive differential diagnosis to identify not only the weaknesses but all the strengths that will enable us to help that child compensate and ultimately rehabilitate. Awareness of speech and language milestones (Shipley and Macafee, 1998) will help parents determine if their child is exhibiting a developmental delay and if further services (i.e. evaluations) are necessary.  

Articulation
Oral Motor/Feeding Disorders
Stuttering
Hearing Impairment
Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD)
Verbal Apraxia
Sensory Disorders
Autistic Spectrum
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS)
Language Learning Deficits
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Adult Services
Services for adults include the following.
Communication Enhancement
Voice Disorders
Stuttering
Hearing Impairment
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Brain Mapping
Biofeedback


Child Services


Articulation
Articulation refers to speech sound production. Sounds that are misarticulated call attention to how the speaker sounds rather than to the message that he/she is relaying. Misarticulations are characterized by some of the following errors: substitutions (when one sound is produced instead of the correct sound), distortions (the sound is produced with improper use of airflow or oral mechanics), or omissions (the sound is left out of the word). Articulation disorders can vary from mild substitutions to multiple sound misarticulations. Speaker intelligibility plays a major role in the focus of the therapy process. The distinctive features approach is primarily used to address speech delays seen. Modeling, Cueing, and Repetition combined with visuals are used to guide the client in reaching the appropriate speech target. Children, as well as adults, are frequently enrolled in articulation therapy to improve their communication skills.
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Oral Motor/Feeding Disorders
Intervention is provided for individuals with anatomical, physiological, or neurological problems that interfere with speech production or the placement, manipulation and mastication of food and liquids before swallowing. The oral mechanism and its functions are addressed in therapy to improve articulation and swallowing disorders in both infants and adults. Children with multiple misarticulations may have difficulty controlling oral motor movements for adequate sound production. Weakness in the oral cavity can also play a role in poor sound production. Infants may have developmental delays causing difficulty in learning to suck, chew and/or swallow. Neonatal care is provided to infant populations who fail to thrive through typical feeding programs. Adults may experience difficulty chewing and swallowing as a result of an illness, stroke or progressive medical condition. In all these instances oral motor training or retraining is a vital part of the therapeutic process. A sensitive but progressive approach is used to treat oral motor and feeding disorders.
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Stuttering
In addressing stuttering, immediate results are the primary focus of the therapy provided. In most instances stutter free speech is demonstrated in the first session. A fluency disorder is characterized by disruptions in smoothness, rhythm, and continuity of sounds, syllables, words or language during speaking. Prolongations (a drawn out sound or syllable), repetitions (repeating a sound, syllable, word or phrase), and/or blocks (unable to produce the desired sound) are the most common errors. The rate, frequency and the length of these disfluencies are noted during the assessment. Secondary characteristics are also common when a person is experiencing these difficulties. These characterisitics may include reduced eye contact, hand or arm movements, facial grimaces, lip tension, and other facial movements. Prolonged experience with disfluent behavior may leave a person feeling anxious and emotionally challenged during a communication exchange. All aspects of the disorder are carefully addressed in the evaluation process and throughout therapeutic intervention. Therapy focuses on reduction and control of these disruptions. Each individual has attitudes toward their own speech disfluencies that are discussed and evaluated as part of the therapy process. Immediate results can be seen when addressed properly. Continued therapy helps the individual manage and control speech to gain fluency.
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Hearing Impairment
Hearing loss can be categorized by where or what part of the auditory system is damaged. Extensive experience with the hearing impaired populations and our multi-sensory approach allows us to address the communication and social needs of both children and adults.
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Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD)
A Central Auditory Processing Problem is the inability or decreased ability to attend to, discriminate, recognize, or understand information that is presented auditorally (by listening). This affects language learning since most language is learned by listening. Difficulty in auditory processing can have a negative impact on a child's ability to function appropriately in school. Many challenges may be faced by the child including inability to attend in the classroom, difficulty distinguishing between important information and unimportant background noise, and increased frustrations with following even simple directions. When a child's auditory skills are limited, it will be more challenging, and sometimes too difficult to learn without special assistance. There are additional challenges that a child may face because of his/her difficulty with processing. Most people with central auditory processing problems have appropriate intelligence and hearing sensitivity. A careful analysis of a child's strengths and weaknesses will allow the team to develop an intervention program implemented by the child's parents and teacher so as to help overcome this deficit which results in a more successful learning experience.
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Verbal Apraxia
Developmental (Childhood) apraxia of speech is a disorder of the nervous system that affects the ability to sequence and say sounds, syllables, and words correctly. It is not due to muscular weakness or paralysis. The problem is in the brain's ability to perform appropriate motor functions and move the body parts needed for speech (i.e. lips, jaw, tongue). The child cannot verbalize what he/she wants to say because the central mechanism is not sending the correct instructions to move the body parts of speech in the appropriate way.
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Sensory Disorders
We engage in the treatment of children with speech and language inconsistencies who also exhibit a profile consistent with sensory disorders. This treatment approach includes body awareness, a schedule of planned activities, and implementation of a sensory diet. This professionally guided treatment program, through coordinated efforts of a skilled speech language pathologist and an occupational therapist, provide the necessary tools to enhance communication
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Autistic Spectrum
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that is marked by the presence of impaired social interaction and communication and a restricted repertoire of activities and interests. Children with Autism show a great variance of symptoms ranging from mild to severe impairments in the use of verbal and nonverbal behaviors that regulate social interaction to a failure to develop age appropriate peer interactions. Stereotypic and repetitive use of language are common traits. Children with Autism may also show a lack of varied, spontaneous make believe play or social imitative play and may have restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of activity.

Children with Autism may have a range of behavioral symptoms including hyperactivity, short attention span, impulsivity, aggressiveness, and temper tantrums. They may show unusual responses to sensory stimuli such as a lack of response to pain or a hypersensitivity to particular sounds. In addition, children with Autism often have unusual eating and sleeping habits and are, at times, described as being either agitated and irritable or aloof and detached. However, autistic individuals may also demonstrate heightened intelligence and enjoy physical contact with loved ones and friends.

We provide programs that are clinically designed to treat those that fall in the spectrum, including Asberger's Syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and sensory abnormalities. A therapeutic approach unique for each child is used to address language, social skills, sensory issues, and behavior which assists in integrating the child into his/her home and school setting.
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Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD)/(PDD-NOS)
A child can be labeled PDD when there is an evident impairment in the development of social interaction, including play skills, and/or verbal or nonverbal communication skills. Stereotypical behaviors, interests, and activities may also be present. Even though the child is having difficulties in socialization skills and communication, the criteria for a specific disorder (i.e. autism) are not all present.

Children with PDD may have a range of behavioral symptoms including hyperactivity, short attention span, impulsivity, aggressiveness, and temper tantrums. They may show unusual responses to sensory stimuli such as a lack of response to pain or a hypersensitivity to particular sounds. A therapeutic intervention program unique for each child is used to address language, social skills, sensory issues, and behavior which assists in integrating the child into his/her home and school setting. Therapeutic methods to address interaction with peers and language skills are used as part of an intervention program.
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Language Learning Deficits
Language-based learning disabilities interfere with age-appropriate reading, spelling, and/or writing. This disorder does not impair intelligence; in fact, most people diagnosed with learning disabilities possess average to superior intelligence. Often times academic coaching becomes necessary to guide the student and family to obtain maximum results within the educational environment.
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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury (TBI), including closed head trauma, is a result of an injury to the head which may cause interference with normal brain function. Individuals with a brain injury often have cognitive and communication deficits that significantly impact their ability to function. These deficits vary depending on the severity of the trauma and location of the head injury. A very specific program must be delineated with a high level of sensitivity to address the needs of the individual to maximize retraining of language and overall recovery.
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Adult Services


Communication Enhancement
Accent Reduction
 Clarity of speech is focused on in both group and individual instruction.
Lecture/Public Speaking Skills
Argumentation/Litigation coaching
 Skills of arguing using appropriate reasoning in presentation.
Organization
 Efficiency in organization when speaking.

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Voice Disorders
Voice disorders refer to abnormal pitch, loudness, or vocal quality for the speaker's sex, age, and status. Voice becomes a problem when these aspects are attended to more than to what the speaker is saying. The cause of the disorder may be organic or functional. The fact that it may have an organic origin requires a medical examination and referral prior to initiating therapy. Any medical condition must be considered before therapy is implemented. We strive to reduce the physical symptoms in response to therapy. Therapeutic intervention also may avoid future surgical involvement
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Stuttering
In addressing stuttering, immediate results are the primary focus of the therapy provided. In most instances stutter free speech is demonstrated in the first session. A fluency disorder is characterized by disruptions in smoothness, rhythm, and continuity of sounds, syllables, words or language during speaking. Prolongations (a drawn out sound or syllable), repetitions (repeating a sound, syllable, word or phrase), and/or blocks (unable to produce the desired sound) are the most common errors. The rate, frequency, and the length of these disfluencies are noted during the assessment. Secondary characteristics are also common when a person is experiencing these difficulties. These characteristics may include, reduced eye contact, hand or arm movements, facial grimaces, lip tension, and other facial movements. Prolonged experience with disfluent behavior may leave a person feeling anxious and emotionally challenged during a communication exchange.

All aspects of the disorder are carefully addressed in the evaluation process and throughout therapeutic intervention. Therapy focuses on reduction and control of these disruptions. Each individual has attitudes toward their own speech disfluencies that are discussed and evaluated as part of the therapy process. Immediate results can be seen when addressed properly. Continued therapy helps the individual manage and control speech to gain fluency.
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Hearing Impairment
Hearing loss can be categorized by where or what part of the auditory system is damaged. Extensive experience with the hearing impaired populations and our multi-sensory approach allows us to address the communication and social needs of both children and adults.
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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury (TBI), including closed head trauma, is a result of an injury to the head which may cause interference with normal brain function. Individuals with a brain injury often have cognitive and communication deficits that significantly impact their ability to function. These deficits vary depend based on the severity of the trauma and location of the head injury. A very specific program must be delineated with a high level of sensitivity to address the needs of the individual to maximize retraining of language and overall recovery.

TBI may cause difficulty with expressive communication. There may be word-finding difficulties, an inability to express an idea appropriately, or difficulty providing explanations. There can also be inconsistencies with receptive language within either the written and/or the spoken word.

Deficits in social communication skills may alter the individual's ability to take turns in conversation, maintain a topic of conversation, use an appropriate tone of voice, interpret the subtleties of conversation (e.g., the difference between sarcasm and a serious statement), respond to facial expressions and body language, or keep up with others in a fast-paced conversation. Most frustrating to families and friends is that a person may have little to no awareness of just how inappropriate he or she is acting. In general, communication can be very frustrating and unsuccessful.

In addition to all of the above, functioning of the speech musculature may also be affected as in a dysarthic condition. Muscles of the lips and tongue may be weaker or less coordinated affecting the ability to speak clearly. Weak muscles may also limit the ability to chew and swallow effectively.
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Brain Mapping
Brain mapping or quantitative EEG allows a neuropsychologist to identify the location of the atypical brain wave patterns. Brain mapping is a diagnostic tool used by a neuropsychologist to measure precisely the amplitude and frequency of brain waves of interest. The test can be fairly exact in determining the pattern of the brain waves, and even compare a client's EEG to a normative reference database.
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Biofeedback
EEG Biofeedback is a teaching tool that enables individuals to alter their brain waves. It is used for many conditions and disabilities in which the brain is not working as well as it might. These conditions include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), specific learning disabilities, conduct disorders and chronic pain such as frequent headaches, pediatric migraines or stomach pain. The training is also helpful in the control of certain psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression.

EEG Biofeedback training is a painless, non-invasive procedure. One or more sensors are placed on the scalp and one to each ear. The brain waves are measured by a computer-based instrument that translates the brain wave signal and provides the client with "feedback". The feedback consists of video rewards (usually a video game) along with an auditory tone. The client is instructed to "play" the video game with his brain. As activity in the desired brain wave frequency band increases, the video game moves ahead to the next frame. If brain wave activity in an undesirable brainwave frequency increases, the video game "freezes" or moves slowly ahead. Gradually, the brain responds to the cues that are being given, and a healthy brain wave pattern is established. The new pattern is one that is closer to what is normally observed in individuals without such disabilities.
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Copyright 2013 Community Speech Language And Learning Center