Methods and Techniques we Use
Because Speech Pathology and related fields are constantly evolving, we believe that it is important to keep up to date with changes and advancements in our targeted therapy areas. We prioritize training and have therapists who have been trained in and/or hold certifications in the following techniques and methods.
For Treating Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders:
Tethered Oral Tissues Specialty Training
TOTS specialty training covers the E3 model of care for tethered oral tissues. This includes relevant background information on how tethered oral tissues affect oral function from birth to maturity.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) includes techniques to help improve lip seal, tongue position, nasal breathing, chewing, and swallowing. OMT can help a patient achieve more restful sleep, less congestion, improved eating, less constipation, more energy and better focus.
Orofacial myofunctional disorders can lead to poor breathing habits. The Buteyko Method uses a series of breathing exercises to train the patient to breathe more effectively complimenting the physiological improvements achieved through other OMD therapies.
For Treating Feeding Disorders:
Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to feeding is a program for assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties. The components involved in feeding are extremely complex. Children with motor issues are unable to manage food safely. They may reduce their nutritional intake or become selective in the types of food they eat. The SOS approach is systematic in that it helps children develop a positive relationship with food by acquiring the skills needed to breakdown food and swallow it. It also provides an avenue to increase nutrition and expand the variety in their current repertoire.
Oral-motor therapy addresses the physical movements of speech and feeding. OPT incorporates the proprioceptive and kinesthetic feedback necessary to address the sensory aspects of speech production and feeding skills. Auditory and visual models of feedback and cueing in traditional speech therapy often do not provide adequate input for those who demonstrate difficulty knowing how to produce specific sounds and combine sounds in connected speech. The therapies and tools used in TalkTools Therapy™ provide tactile cueing, or the feel of speech, to promote more appropriate movement patterns for standard speech production and clarity as well as appropriate feeding.
The Beckman Oral Motor protocol is a set of specific interventions which provide assisted movement to activate muscle contraction and to provide movement against resistance to build strength. The focus of these interventions is to increase functional response to pressure and movement, range, strength, variety and control of movement for the lips, cheeks, jaw and tongue.
Muscle based speech and feeding therapy that involves both sensory and motor components of the neurological system. Both the Feedback (motor processing) which is a reactive system is used for ongoing production of skilled movement (open-close in chew) and Feed-forward (anticipation) of sensory information which enables us to prepare, and initiate postural and movement requirements in anticipation of a movement are involved in the feeding process. For example, moving lips forward to accept yogurt off a spoon would be an anticipatory movement. A child may also lean forward toward the spoon. Conversely, he may move away from it due to fear and anxiety. Sensory input (awareness) impacts movement and Sensory discrimination (hot, cold, big, little, bland, spicy) impacts movement and motor control. Understanding what skills a child has to work with will determine where to begin and whether food would be appropriate as a starting point.
Our therapists are trained in Ellen Carlin's Baby Friendly Techniques.
With a goal of both mitigating problem behaviors and increasing positive experiences at mealtimes, the AEIOU approach integrates five factors:
For Treating Language and Speech Disorders:
Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) is a multifaceted approach that combines motor movement, comprehension and the social exchanges of communication.
It is a treatment method that views a child from a neurological developmental viewpoint. Children acquire the ability to move their jaws; lips and tongues accordingly to produce words, string them together in a coherent thought and share them with others socially in an integrated manner. Conscious movement involves motor planning and control of the anatomy used for speaking. Language concepts come from understanding word meaning, association and function. Social language encompasses initiation, turn taking, and listening or the “manners” of social exchanges. If any of these global domains are delayed, then speech production may not develop typically. Similarly, if any of these systems are overly challenged, you can see a breakdown in one or more of the domains.
It is not uncommon to experience moments of dysfluency when emotions run high such as when one accomplishes something challenging, experiences loss or pain. Thoughts become fragmented thus speech production is reduced or slurred and socially expressing those feelings become disjointed. For children that have difficulty with social relationships, language formation issues or unclear speech, talking proves to be a task that requires effort and stamina to be successful. PROMPT rebalances a child’s communication system so that their communication as a whole improves.
Story Grammar Marker® is a hands-on, multi-sensory tool that has colorful, meaningful icons that represent the organizational structure of a story. The tool itself is a complete episode, the basic unit of a plot. It is a fun and interactive means of helping children identify and sequence story grammar components.
An innovative program driven by orthographic instruction to target articulation, phonological awareness, speech intelligibility and build literacy skills–all simultaneously! Program covers the full alphabet, plus diphthongs, digraphs and trigraphs. Includes 170 reproducible storybooks and other reproducible activities for parents to reinforce therapy sessions.
The Expanding Expression Tool (EET) kit helps to build language constructs by providing a systematic means of understanding how small parts fit into the whole by making connections between concepts. It helps with the following:
- Oral expression
- Written expression
- Vocabulary comprehension
- Defining and describing
- Making associations
- Stating functions of objects
- Similarities and differences
A Lindamood-Bell program, Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing® (LiPS®) develops phoneme awareness. Students learn to recognize how their mouths produce the sounds of language. This kinesthetic feedback enables reading, spelling, and speech.
Picture Exchange Communication System, widely known as PECS, was developed in 1985 as a unique augmentative/alternative communication intervention package for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and related developmental disabilities.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to communication methods other than talking. AAC includes a wide range of alternative communication methods using a range of tools and techniques. Some examples include:
- Sign language
- Pen and paper
- Communication boards
- iPad applications
The SCERTS® Model is a research-based educational approach and multidisciplinary framework that directly addresses the core challenges faced by children and persons with ASD and related disabilities, and their families. SCERTS® focuses on building competence in Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support as the highest priorities that must be addressed in any program, and is applicable for individuals with a wide range of abilities and ages across home, school and community settings.
For young children (ages birth - five years) who have been identified as having a language delay; the It Takes Two to Talk® program uses small group settings to help parents develop strategies to help their children learn language through their regular day-to-day interactions.
We have therapists trained in LSVT LOUD therapy to help patients with Parkinson's disease and similar conditions.
For Treating Sensory Disorders:
Sensory integration or “sensory processing” is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses (i.e taste, smell, auditory, visual, internal) and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Successful completion of the activity requires processing sensation or “sensory integration”. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, formerly known as “sensory integration dysfunction”) is a condition that exists when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. The Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) measures the sensory integration processes that underlie learning and behavior. By showing you how children organize and respond to sensory input, SIPT helps pinpoint specific organic problems associated with learning disabilities, emotional disorders, and minimal brain dysfunction.
The Listening Program is a music therapy system to improve brain fitness in the areas of executive function, communication, auditory processing, social/emotional function, stress response, motor coordination and creativity.
A neuro-motor therapy leader that has changed clinical expectations by assisting patients in reaching greater functional gains in a shorter period of time. Services utilize patented computer technology based on rhythm and timing to improve children’s attention and coordination.
See more information at https://www.interactivemetronome.com
The Makoto Arena is wonderfully adapted to fit the needs of each individual through programmed activities in a game format. Children and Adults alike are offered the opportunity to be challenged at different levels which encourage them to come back. The Makoto Arena can accommodate more than one individual and foster a team approach where collaboration and socialization skills are practiced.
Makoto works toward increasing the processing speed of auditory and visual stimuli, which in turn develops motor planning, memory, initiation, agility, and stamina. Repairing or stimulating brain growth occurs with each experience. Integration of neuronal tracts happen naturally as an individual becomes comfortable with using their hands or feet to hit targets that stimulate the brain through lights and sounds at varying decibels of low, mid and high tones.
The Makoto Arena is a perfect motivator for individuals with learning challenges by decreasing stress on their system with easy-to-follow instructions and allowing kids to be kids where play takes center stage. Over time, therapeutic tasks are presented to encourage increased brain fitness through the integration of muscle memory and working memory. Tasks include visual tracking of numbers, letters, nouns, verbs, and spelling words etcetera on the walls of the therapy room to intensify the experience.
Makoto helps individuals who have suffered cardiovascular, neurologic impairments such as stroke or TBI and are looking to regain skills that may have been lost.
It is also great for fitness fanatics wanting to increase their performance level out on the playing field.
Studies involving the Makoto Arena have shown marked improvements with a minimum of 2-minute sessions in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
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