SPEECH & LANGUAGE
Speech & language assessment: speech and language disorders effects more than 8% of Americans. However only 1 in 12 children are diagnosed properly according to National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. We offer comprehensive speech-language assessments for children 15 months and above. Please keep in mind that Speech-language assessment is very delicate and a complex process. Assessing, describing, and interpreting an individual's communication ability requires the integration of a variety of information gathered in the evaluation process. Whether rooted in psycho-speech behavioral issues, muscular disorders, or brain damage we are here to help.
Speech and language disorders refer to problems in communication and related areas such as oral motor function. These delays and disorders range from simple sound substitutions to the inability to understand or use language or use the oral-motor mechanism for functional speech and feeding.
1. Language issues Related to Autism
While the autism spectrum itself isn’t a speech disorder, it makes this list because the two go hand-in-hand more often than not. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one out of every 68 children in our country have an autism spectrum disorder. And by definition, all children who have autism also have social communication problems.
2. Apraxia of Speech (AOS)
Apraxia of Speech (AOS) is disruption of the neural pathway between the brain and a person’s speech function (speech muscles). The person knows what they want to say, even able to write but their brain is unable to communicate the information to the speech muscles. The assessment examine the different levels of severity of AOS, ranging from mostly functional, to speech that is incoherent.
Stuttering, also referred to as stammering. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that three million Americans stutter, and reports that of the up-to-10-percent of children who do stutter, three-quarters of them will outgrow it with proper help.
Dysarthria is a symptom of nerve or muscle damage. It manifests itself as slurred speech, slowed speech, limited tongue, jaw, or lip movement, abnormal rhythm and pitch when speaking, changes in voice quality, difficulty articulating, labored speech, and other related symptoms. It often resulted from muscle damage, or nerve damage to the muscles involved in the process of speaking such as the diaphragm, lips, tongue, and vocal chords.This can start during development in the womb or shortly after birth as a result of conditions like muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. In adults some of the most common causes of dysarthria are stroke, tumors, and MS.
A lay term, lisping can be recognized by anyone and is very common. Speech language pathologists provide an extra level of expertise and can make sure that a lisp is not being confused with another type of disorder such as apraxia, aphasia, impaired development of expressive language, or a speech impediment caused by hearing loss.
6. Spasmodic Dysphonia
Spasmodic Dysphonia (SD) is a chronic long-term disorder that affects the voice. It is characterized by a spasming of the vocal chords when a person attempts to speak and results in a voice that can be described as shaky, hoarse, groaning, tight, or jittery. It can cause the emphasis of speech to vary considerably.
Have you notice people talking about how they are smart but also nervous in large groups of people, and then self-diagnose themselves as having Asperger’s? You might have heard a similar lay diagnosis for cluttering. The first symptoms of this disorder appear in childhood. Like other fluency disorders, a trained therapist can have a huge impact on improving or eliminating cluttering. Intervention is most effective early on in life, however adults can also benefit from working with a therapist.
8. Muteness – Selective Mutism
This used to be called elective mutism to emphasize its difference from disorders that caused mutism through damage to, or irregularities in, the speech process. Selective mutism is when a person does not speak in some or most situations, however that person is physically capable of speaking. It most often occurs in children, and is commonly exemplified by a child speaking at home but not at school. Selective mutism is related to psychology. It appears in children who are very shy, who have an anxiety disorder, or who are going through a period of social withdrawal or isolation. These psychological factors have their own origins and should be dealt with through counseling or another type of psychological intervention.
The National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimates that one million Americans have some form of aphasia. Aphasia is a communication disorder caused by damage to the brain’s language capabilities. Aphasia differs from apraxia of speech and dysarthria in that it solely pertains to the brain’s speech and language center.
As such anyone can suffer from aphasia because brain damage can be caused by a number of factors. However SLPs are most likely to encounter aphasia in adults, especially those who have had a stroke. Other common causes of aphasia are brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, and degenerative brain diseases.
10. Speech Delay – Alalia
A speech delay or alalia, refers to the phenomenon when a child is not making normal attempts to verbally communicate. There can be a number of factors causing this to happen. The are many potential reasons why a child would not be using age-appropriate communication. These can range anywhere from the child being a “late bloomer” or caused by other factors.