Autism

What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how a person communicates and relates to other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

Autism affects four major areas of development:

  •  Language and communication
  • Social interaction
  • Thinking and behavior
  • Sensory processing

Asperger’s is a form of autism; they tend to have fewer problems with speech, but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

How we can help:

The goal is to improve communication skills for your autistic child. This may include:

  • Helping with early communication skills
  • Producing sounds and words and gestures
  • Teaching or modeling listening, speaking, reading, writing, and conversation skills
  • Taking turns speaking or interacting
  • Helping children understand non-verbal communication like facial expression and gesture
  • Developing a non-verbal communication system, such as PECS (picture exchange communication system) or signing for those who don’t speak

Aphasia

What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a disorder caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control language. There are numerous causes, such as brain tumours, infections and injuries as well as stroke and dementia. The type and severity of Aphasia depends on which part of the brain was damaged and the extent of the damage.

There are four main types:

  • Expressive aphasia – is a type of aphasia characterized by the loss of the ability to produce spoken or written language
  • Receptive aphasia – is a type of aphasia in which people with the condition are unable to understand language in its written or spoken form
  • Anomic aphasia – is a type of aphasia characterized by problems recalling words, names, and numbers
  • Global aphasia – is a joint form of aphasia with severe impairment of both expressive and receptive skills

How we can help:

There are various types of treatment available for individuals with aphasia. The type of treatment depends on the needs and goals of the person or child.

  • Work on activities to improve specific language skills and help restore as much speech and language as possible.
  • Develop and use strategies to communicate, such as using gesture, writing, and drawing or communication charts.

Apraxia of Speech

What is Apraxia of Speech?

Apraxia is a neurological condition, where people find it difficult or impossible to move his or her mouth and tongue to speak. This happens, even though the person has the desire to speak and the mouth and tongue muscles are physically able to form words.

There are two main types:

  • Acquired apraxia – It results from brain damage to those areas of the brain that control the ability to speak. This condition causes people to lose the speech-making abilities they once possessed.
  • Developmental apraxia (childhood apraxia of speech) – This condition is present from birth, and it affects a child’s ability to form sounds and words.

How we can help:

There are various treatment approaches used for apraxia. The treatment is developed to meet the individual’s needs.

Therapy aims to improve speech coordination. Exercises may include:

  • Repeatedly practicing the formation and pronunciation of sounds and words
  • Practicing stringing together sounds to make speech
  • Working with rhythms or melodies
  • Using multisensory approaches, such as watching in a mirror while trying to form words or touching the face while talking

Articulation and Phonological Disorder

What is Articulation and Phonological Disorder?

Phonological disorder is a type of speech disorder known as an Articulation disorder. Children with phonological disorder do not use some or all of the speech sounds expected for their age group. More common in boys, the cause of in children is often unknown.

How we can help:

  • Treatment to improve articulation of individual sounds and production of sound patterns. This includes demonstrating how to produce the sound correctly, learning to recognize which sounds are correct and incorrect, and practicing sounds in different words.
  • Phonological process treatment involves teaching the rules of speech to help them say words correctly.

Dysarthria

What is Dysarthria?

Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder resulting from neurological injury of the motor component of the motor-speech system and is known by poor articulation of speech sounds. The type and severity of dysarthria depend on which area of the nervous system is affected.

How we can help:

Treatment depends on the cause, type, and severity of the symptoms. Possible goals of treatment may include:

  • Slowing the rate of speech
  • Improving the breath support so the person can speak more loudly
  • Strengthening oral muscles
  • Increasing tongue and lip movement
  • Improving speech sound production so that speech is more clear

Language Disorders

What is a Language Disorder?

A language disorder is a significant delay in the use and/or understanding of spoken or written language. The disorder may involve the form of language, its content or meaning, or its use in any combination.

How we can help:

To improve communication skills, this may include:

  • Helping with communication skills, such as producing sounds, words and gestures

Stuttering

What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions, prolongations, or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak.

How we can help:

  • Provide treatment and techniques that change the timing of speech
  • Treatment also focuses on improving the speaker’s attitudes toward communication

Voice Disorders

What is a Voice Disorder?

A voice disorder can be defined as a problem involving abnormal pitch, loudness or quality of the sound produced by the larynx, or more commonly known as the voice box.

How we can help:

Therapy involves exercises that generally focus on: –

  • Breathing support
  • Movement of the vocal cords
  • Resonance of the voice
  • Relaxation of those muscles