What We Do
We are a private speech/language/feeding therapy clinic specializing in pediatrics. Our staff of speech-language pathologists is unique because of the different conferences, work shops, and specialized training they received to remain on the cutting edge of current diagnostic and treatment methods for varying communication disorders and difficulties, in addition to their sincere passion and dedication to their patients and their families. We have a family-based approach in our clinic, as well as with our work with the birth to three population in the home environment. At the clinic, most of the therapy rooms have observation rooms with one way mirrors or a camera system that allows the parents to observe the child’s session. Some families choose to sit in the treatment room to be directly involved in the session. Our speech-language pathologists always give parents specific homework assignments to do during the week based upon what was done in treatment session that week. This component, in addition to the parent observing the session and discussing it at the end of each session is significantly important for carryover of those skills into the environment outside of the therapy room. Therapy sessions can be 30 minutes or 60 minutes in duration depending upon the needs of the child. The frequency of therapy per week also depends on the needs of the child.
Speech-Language Evaluations: Usually last 1-1.5 hours. Evaluating concerns parents/guardians have regarding the child’s communication skills. The speech-language pathologist interviews the parents with specific questions to identify which areas need to be assessed. A few of the areas to be tested could include receptive and expressive language skills, articulation and phonological skills, phonological awareness, fluency, social pragmatics, and oral motor skills.
We use the most up to date standardized evaluations to assess your child’s speech/language/reading/fluency skills. With the evaluation results, we will be able to provide a clear and detailed picture of the potential areas of concern for your child. We complete a formal evaluation report stating all results of testing, observations, and recommendations.
Here are some of the areas that we provide therapy for:
Articulation Difficulties(speech sounds): Child is not able to say certain speech sounds such as /r, l, sh/. This decreases the ability of people to understand what he/she says.
Phonological Processing Disorders: A child can be very difficult to understand and have processes such as final consonant deletion (cutting off ending sounds of words) or velar fronting (which is saying “t” or “d” (front sounds) for “k” and “g” (back sounds) ex. “tat” for “cat”. There are developmental ages for all of the processes. Once the child reaches that age and continues to present with the processes, this is when it needs to be evaluated for a disorder.
Apraxia of Speech: (Motor planning disorder of speech) Sometimes children who are late talkers and do not babble or make sounds at all can be indicators of this disorder. These children have difficulty saying sounds, syllables, and words. The brain is having problems planning to move the body parts (e.g. lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he/she wants to say but their brain has difficulty coordinating the necessary muscle movements to say the words. We have received specific training for this disorder.
Reading Disorders: (This can include Dyslexia, problems with reading fluency (slow readers), and reading comprehension.) We use a Lindamood Bell approach depending upon the specific difficulties.
Dysarthria: This is a neurological motor speech impairment that involves slow, weak, uncoordinated movements of muscles used for speech, which can result in slurred and difficult to understand speech. We have had patients with this impairment on our caseloads. We are prepared with tools to address this adequately.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder: Children with this disorder typically have difficulty with following directions given auditory in classroom, ask “what” frequently when being addressed, and sometime have learning problems. We, at Young Talkers, have lots of tools and programs to treat this population.
Phonemic and Phonological Awareness: These are pre-literacy skills that some children have difficulty with. This can include rhyming, blending sounds into words, identification of initial and ending sounds of words, as well as segmenting words.
Autism Spectrum Disorder: This is a complex neurobiological disorder which impairs a person’s ability to process and integrate ordinary information. It is characterized by speech, language, and communication impairments that can also affect the person’s social skills and ability to interact with others. All of the speech-language pathologists on the staff have significant experience with this population. We have actually partnered with Building Futures Autism Clinic and SOS Health Care to provide speech therapy for the children receiving Applied Behavioral Analysis services at their clinic.
Aural Rehabilitation for Cochlear Implants/Hearing Impairments: We provide therapy for children with cochlear implants and those wearing hearing aids. We have received training from Medical University of South Carolina for this population and how to apply auditory verbal therapy approach during therapy. We always evaluate if this approach is appropriate for the child.
Feeding & Swallowing Disorders: These include any difficulty with any step of the feeding process from accepting foods and liquids into the mouth to the entry of the stomach. This can include atypical eating and drinking behaviors such as not accepting age appropriate liquids or foods. These children may refuse foods and only accept a limited number of foods. Please see the feeding treatment link for more information.
Fluency (Stuttering): This affects how fluent the speech is. It is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds. Most people produce a small number of disfluencies such as (uh, um) or repeating words. However, when these disfluencies are significantly increased is when it is advised to evaluate for this disorder. We will evaluate and base our treatment approach upon the individual child.
Language Disorders: This is impaired comprehension (receptive language) and/or use of spoken, written, and or other symbol systems (expressive language). A child with this disorder might be having difficulty at school with their academics. Some examples of difficulties associated with language disorders are (difficulty answering “wh” questions, following directions, problems with the use of pronouns, verbs, and other parts of speech correctly; talking in complete sentences that make sense, understanding verbs, and other parts of speech). The therapy plans for these are determined based upon testing. Younger children in ages (2-4) who are not talking yet or not talking as well as peers might also be diagnosed with a language disorder. With these children, we apply techniques of language stimulation to increase the child’s language skills.
Social Communication Disorder: This may include problems with social interaction, social cognition, and pragmatics. This can be a distinct diagnosis or occur within the context of other conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, traumatic brain injury, etc. We are going to be starting social skills groups at Young Talkers in the near future. We will be targeting difficulties with specific social goals while providing opportunity to apply it with peers in a fun group setting.
Early intervention is very important for treating all of these areas. If you have a concern for your child in one of these areas, please do not wait. Please be proactive and call us or email us to schedule an evaluation. With an evaluation, we will be able to tell you if your child needs speech therapy intervention or if he/she does not need intervention at that time.
Some of the definitions and descriptions of these disorders were information from American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website (www.asha.org).
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. People with severe speech or language problems rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth. We will evaluate and determine if AAC could be beneficial to aide in communication and determine which form of AAC is most appropriate for your child. We are affiliated with Tobii Dynavox and Prentke Romich Company (PRC) who are manufacturers of high-tech AAC devices. Quincey Lloyd is an SLP at Young Talkers who has received specialized training in the area of AAC and is a certified LAMP Words For Life Partner (a high-tech AAC system designed for individuals with Autism).