All posts by Yasminah Abdullah, M.S., CCC-SLP

About Yasminah Abdullah, M.S., CCC-SLP

Ms.Yasminah Abdullah, M.S., CCC-SLP is a principal Speech-Language Pathologist at Total Speech Therapy

What kinds of children have special requirements? The term “children with special needs” (CWSN) refers to kids who need extra support to live a normal, healthy life. CWSNs are children who have developmental delays, congenital conditions, medical conditions, and/or psychiatric disorders. These may include the necessity for occupational therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or medical care.

Today, experts classify CWSN impairments and illnesses into four broad groups:

  • Physical
  • Developmental
  • Sensory
  • Behavioral or emotional

The classification allows for timely and accurate diagnosis, treatment, and therapy for the child.

A speech-language pathologist (SLP) or speech therapist is a medical expert who specializes in helping people with communication disorders. Conditions and/or disorders that need specialized care can be assessed, evaluated, diagnosed, and treated with their help. There are usually observable indicators that a child needs speech therapy.

Can Speech Therapists Assist Children with Special Needs?

The importance of speech therapy for kids with disabilities is frequently underestimated. Most children with developmental delays or disorders benefit from early intervention to help them learn language, communication, and social skills. Regular speech therapy is helpful for kids with speech, learning, and/or language difficulties. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) help children and their families with communication issues. Speech therapy is often included as a component of special education programs or individualized education programs (IEP) in a number of different educational settings.

The following is a list of what you can anticipate from sessions with a speech language pathologist, or SLP for your child who has special needs:

1. Oral Motor Training

Problems with lip, mouth, tongue, and jaw control and coordination are common in young children. The muscles used for chewing and talking can be strengthened with the help of speech therapy. Children with Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and dysarthria benefit tremendously from it.

As your child practices on a regular basis, he or she will develop an enhanced awareness of the muscles used in speech and swallowing, as well as their strength and coordination. This is not going to happen quickly. The ability to make speech sounds that make sense will take a lot of practice on your child’s part and a lot of patience on your part.

2. The Use of Gestures and Sign Languages

Learning spoken language can be difficult for some kids. Learning sign language or other gestures to communicate may be helpful if your child has severe symptoms of cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, non-verbal autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or dysarthria.

These can be as easy as nodding and pointing at things. They could also learn basic signs (like those used in American Sign Language) to help express themselves. Children with special needs can learn the most commonly used signs and gestures with the help of a speech therapist. A child with special needs may also use sign language or gestures as a short-term communication method until the child is able to learn to speak.

3. Voice Output Communication Aid(VOCA)

Voice output communication aids, or VOCAs, are electronic devices that can imitate human speech. Kids can “talk” using either recorded sound bites or computer-generated speech. A speech therapist is a great resource for helping you determine which VOCA is best for your child.

Kids can communicate with the help of a speech-generating system by using a switch system, a touch screen, or keypads.

4. Picture Communication Symbols (PECS)

With this method, kids can exchange ideas with just a deck of picture cards. Picture cards can be printed out or created digitally.

With the help of a speech-language pathologist (SLP), your child with special needs can learn to communicate by recognizing and responding to common symbols and pictures. 

5. Phonology and Articulation 

Children’s difficulties with speech articulation can be attributed to a number of different disorders. The speech-language pathologist will work with your child on specific sounds, words, and phrases in addition to oral motor exercises.

The therapists will show you and your child how to do exercises to help with articulation and phonation. This will help your child’s speech develop. Your child may need a few weeks to a year to show improvements in their spoken language, depending on the severity of their symptoms.

6. Methods of Swallowing 

Children with special needs often need guidance in developing safe swallowing habits. Dysphagia is the name for the disorder. Infants and young children with cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy often suffer from this. However, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), cerebral strokes, and brain tumors can all contribute to this condition as well.

Your child can benefit from speech therapy in the areas of chewing and swallowing. Swallowing maneuvers, increasing jaw and tongue strength, and alternative methods of head positioning are just a few examples of the kinds of strategies used to help children with special needs.

7. Naturalness and Clarity of Expression

Stuttering can also manifest in children who have special needs. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) can help your child learn strategies to reduce stuttering and improve speech fluency.

Due to hearing loss or voice disorders, some children have trouble modulating the volume of their voice. SLPs can assist you in evaluating your child and referring you to an ENT (ear-nose-throat specialist) for a thorough hearing and voice examination.

The speech therapist can also teach your child easy ways to control the volume of their voice.

8. Therapeutic Interventions for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

The vast majority of SLPs won’t help your child with his or her emotions or behavior. However, they have the expertise to determine if your child actually requires these interventions. If you need help, they can recommend a child psychologist, psychiatrist, or behavioral therapist to you.

Every child with special needs is one-of-a-kind, and that fact must never be forgotten. The symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and cerebral palsy vary from child to child, making it difficult to diagnose ASD in a child and rule out other conditions like speech delay, Down syndrome, or dysfluent speech. 

It is important to talk to a doctor about any physical problems and to find out how bad they are. As a corollary, you should consult with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or speech therapist to address their linguistic and communicative needs.

In many situations, caregiver burnout is a serious issue. As a parent, you have probably spent all day tending to your child’s needs, and it’s perfectly normal to feel exhausted by the end of the day. To address your emotional needs in such a situation, you may find it helpful to consult a psychologist or other mental health professional.

Have you run out of options?Total Speech Therapy in Maryland and Houston may be the best option for you. Our speech-language pathologists have the necessary experience to assist your children with special needs. We will travel to your home or other convenient locations to provide speech therapy for your children. Please contact us at 410-696-3301 to set up an appointment.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neuro-developmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions about ASD that can lead to misunderstandings and stigma. In this blog post, we will break down some of the most common myths and misconceptions about ASD and provide accurate information to promote understanding and acceptance.

Myth #1: 

People with autism spectrum disorders lack empathy

A common myth about ASD is that individuals with the condition do not have empathy. This is simply not true. While people with ASD may have difficulty with social interaction and understanding the emotions of others, this does not mean they lack empathy. Many individuals with ASD are highly empathetic and caring, and they may have a unique perspective on the world that allows them to connect with others in meaningful ways.

Myth #2: 

Autism spectrum disorder is the result of poor parenting

This is another common myth about ASD, and it is completely unfounded. There is no evidence to suggest that parenting styles or practices cause ASD. Instead, research has shown that ASD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that likely has a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Myth #3: 

People with autism spectrum disorders cannot communicate

Individuals with ASD may find social communication and interaction difficult, but they can still communicate despite these challenges. Many people with ASD have excellent verbal and nonverbal communication skills, as well as abilities in reading, writing, and memorization. It is critical to remember that communication difficulties are only one aspect of ASD and that people with the condition are individuals with their own strengths and challenges.

Myth #4: 

Autism spectrum disorder is a rare condition

While ASD was once thought to be a rare condition, it is now estimated to affect 1 in every 54 children in the United States. This means that ASD affects millions of people, and it is critical to recognize that it is not a rare condition.

Myth #5: 

People with autism spectrum disorder are intellectually disabled

While some individuals with ASD may also have an intellectual disability, this is not true for all individuals with the condition. In fact, many people with ASD have average or above-average intelligence and may excel in areas such as math, science, or music. It is important to remember that intelligence is not necessarily related to ASD and that each individual with the condition is unique.

Myth #6: 

Autism Spectrum Disorder can be cured

While there is no known cure for ASD, early intervention and treatment can help individuals with the condition improve their quality of life by developing important skills and abilities. Treatment options may include speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, behavior therapy, and medication. It is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating ASD and that each individual with the condition may have unique needs and challenges.

Myth #7: 

People with autism spectrum disorder are all the same

While people with ASD share some characteristics, such as difficulty with social interaction and communication, each individual is unique. Some people with ASD may have a special interest or talent, whereas others may experience sensory sensitivities or anxiety. It is critical to recognize and value the uniqueness of each person with ASD.

Myth #8: 

Autism spectrum disorder is a childhood condition

While ASD is usually diagnosed in childhood, it is a lifelong condition that affects people their entire lives. Many adults with ASD may have difficulties with employment, relationships, and social interaction, and they may benefit from ongoing support and services.

Myth #9: 

People with autism spectrum disorder do not want friends

While individuals with ASD may have difficulty with social interaction and making friends, this does not mean they do not want or value relationships. Many individuals with ASD have a strong desire for social connection.

Myth #10: 

Autism is a life sentence

Autism is a lifelong condition, but that doesn’t mean that people with autism can’t live happy, fulfilling lives. With the right support, interventions, and autism therapy, many people with autism are able to achieve their goals and lead productive, meaningful lives.

Every person with autism is different and has their own set of strengths and challenges. It is indeed imperative to remember that autism is complicated, with various effects on each individual. While a few autistic persons might need constant care and help, others could be able to live independently and accomplish their goals without a lot of outside help.

While a few autistic persons might need constant care and help, others could be able to live independently and accomplish their goals without a lot of outside help.

We can make the world more inclusive and helpful for everyone, regardless of neurological abnormalities, by dispelling these beliefs and fostering a broader awareness of and acceptance of autism.

Total Speech Therapy, a leading provider of comprehensive speech therapy services, has recently opened its Houston office to a improved location. The new office is situated at 3845 FM 1960 W, Ste. 181, Houston, Texas 77068, United States, and offers a more spacious and convenient facility for clients seeking language and speech therapy services in the Houston area.

The new location offers a larger space for more therapy rooms, ensuring that more clients can be accommodated. Additionally, the office is conveniently situated near major highways, making it easy for clients to access.

Total Speech Therapy is a team of certified speech-language pathologists dedicated to helping children and adults overcome speech and language difficulties. They provide a wide range of services, including speech and language therapy, articulation therapy, and many more. They also specialize in working with individuals who have developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder. The experienced team of speech-language pathologists at Total Speech Therapy is dedicated to developing personalized treatment plans to help clients overcome speech and language barriers.

The team remain committed to providing high-quality speech therapy services to their clients. They strive to help individuals of all ages achieve their full potential in their personal and professional lives. The team works closely with clients to create a warm and welcoming environment where they can receive individualized treatment plans to cater to their specific needs.

In addition to speech therapy services, Total Speech Therapy offers workshops, training sessions, and online resources such as blogs and videos to support clients in achieving their communication goals.

The team at Total Speech Therapy is passionate about helping its clients achieve success in all areas of their lives. They take a collaborative approach to therapy, working with families and healthcare professionals to provide the best care possible for the clients. The team dedication to excellent speech therapy services has earned them a reputation as a trusted provider in Houston.

Total Speech Therapy is committed to continuing its legacy of excellence in speech therapy services. They believe that effective communication is essential for personal and professional success, and they are committed to providing every individual with the opportunity to achieve it. Its additional new location is a reflection of commitment to expand reach and to provide quality speech therapy services in the Houston area. You can either drop an email at yasminah@totalspeechtherapy.com or even call us at 410-696-3301 for personalized suggestions.

It’s a speech-sound disorder called apraxia of speech (AOS) often caused by a brain injury or stroke. Additionally, the individual has trouble producing the necessary oral movements to make the sound. Thus, AOS can occur even in the absence of muscle weakness. The person has normal muscle tone, strength, and mobility, but they can’t make any speech sounds.

In a typical case of AOS, the individual is visibly struggling to make the sound. Furthermore, he/she appears to be searching for where to position the speech muscles, such as the lips and tongue. Consequently, searching and groping are very prevalent in AOS. AOS can exist independently or in conjunction with oral apraxia.

Diagnostic Methodology

First of all, a speech-language pathologist will review the symptoms, medical history, speech muscles, speech sounds, words, and phrases to assess their condition.

The speech-language pathologist will evaluate the vocabulary, sentence structure, and speech comprehension skills.

CAS is diagnosed using multiple tests and observations. It really depends on the nature of the issues that have been observed. Your child’s age, level of cooperation, and the severity of the speech problem will all determine which tests will be administered during the evaluation.

When a patient has limited communication skills or is unable to engage with the speech-language pathologist, a diagnosis of CAS can be challenging.

Knowing whether or not an individual has CAS is important because it requires a different approach to treatment than other speech disorders. Even if the diagnosis is initially hazy, a speech-language pathologist may be able to advise you on the best course of treatment.

Examples of possible diagnostic procedures are: 

Hearing tests: If someone is having difficulty communicating, your doctor may recommend hearing tests to rule out hearing loss as a possible cause.

Evaluation of oral-motor skills: A speech therapist will check for tongue-tie, cleft palate, and other structural and functional issues with the lips, tongue, jaw, and palate. In most cases, CAS is not linked to low muscle tone, but it can be a symptom of other issues.

The speech-language pathologist will watch how the patient moves their mouth when they blow, smile, or kiss.

Speech assessment: The ability to form sounds, words, and sentences will be evaluated while the patient is engaged in play or other activities.

The patient may be asked to name pictures to identify any sounds, words, or syllables that he or she has trouble pronouncing.

The speech-language pathologist working with the patient may use speech tasks to assess his motor speech skills, such as coordination and fluency. Repetition of syllables like “pa-ta-ka” or the articulation of words like “buttercup” may be requested to gauge your child’s motor speech coordination.

If the patient is capable of forming sentences, a speech-language pathologist will listen to and record his speech to evaluate the melody and rhythm of his speech, including how he places emphasis on individual syllables and words.

A speech therapist may use cues like saying the word or sound more slowly or touching his face to help him produce more accurate responses.

Treatment for AOS often includes speech and language therapy. The following discussion provides some helpful tips that should be considered during AOS treatment.

Tips for Dealing with Speech Apraxia

  1. Participatory Session:

Make the session fun and engaging.

For the /b/ sound, for instance, the child could be given the following guidance:

  • Join your lips
  • Take a deep breath and hold it behind your lips.
  • Let your breath out immediately.
  • The sound can also be used in a practical manner. Pick words with short CVC and CV sequences to memorize. Examples include “bee,” “bow,” “boo,” etc.
  1. Incorporate a multi-sensory strategy: 

When dealing with AOS, it is best to employ a multi-sensory approach. To teach sound, you should use all of your senses, not just hearing and seeing. Let’s say we’re working on teaching the /b/ sound to the kid. Here are some of the things we can accomplish by utilizing multiple senses:

  • Put your lips together as a visual cue.
  • Pronounce the letter “b” three times. Audio cue: Say “ba” three times in a row.
  • The “b” sound can be felt as air is expelled from the mouth, so placing a hand in front of the mouth can serve as a tactile cue. 
  1. More frequent sessions of intensive therapy: 

First, consistent speech therapy sessions will be beneficial. Second, it’s best to schedule between three and five therapy sessions per week. A parent-focused program, however, is recommended. One way that these exercises are continued at home is through a program designed specifically for parents.

Moreover, due to a wide range of differences among people who have AOS, individualized treatment plans are likely to yield the best results. It’s best to begin with one-on-one sessions.

  1. Exercises to improve intonation and prosody:

People with AOS not only have problems with the sounds they make when talking, but they also have unusual rhythms and intonations in their speech. These people, in other words, stress and pause incorrectly and speak at an abnormal pitch. Stress, intonation, pitch, and rhythm are all aspects of prosody that can be used in therapy sessions. Afterward, kids can finish up by singing songs, rhymes, humming, chanting, etc.

When speaking to an adult, it is important to use the correct prosodic features along with the intended sound. Each individual word, phrase, and sentence is examined.

  1. Allowing ample practice to promote skill generalization:

Therapeutically, it’s crucial to allow time for the patient to practice the new skill in real-world contexts. This is a broad generalization. Allowing some time for the process of generalization aids in the application of lessons learned in one context to another. Having more opportunities to put what you’ve learned into practice boosts your likelihood of retaining that knowledge. Do it with the help of the therapist at first, and then try to reduce your need for their assistance over time.

  1. Giving session feedback—knowledge of results versus performance:

The importance of feedback in the acquisition of new abilities cannot be overstated. Knowing a client’s preferred method of instruction allows therapists to tailor their feedback accordingly.

In some cases, informing clients of the outcomes could be beneficial. It entails commenting on the correctness or incorrectness of the statement. If the therapist and client are working on the word “ball,” and the client says “all,” the therapist would correct the client by saying, “No, that is wrong.” Could you say ball?

There would be less restrictions placed on one’s knowledge of performance. The counselor would simply paraphrase the patient’s words and offer suggestions for improvement. If the therapist is working with the client on the word “ball,” and the client says “all,” the therapist might respond, “I heard it as all.” Please repeat that, but this time includes the letter “b” at the beginning.

If a brain injury or stroke has resulted in apraxia and a person is not able to say what they want to say even though there is no physical barrier, speech therapy can go a long way in correcting the problem. For the best speech therapy sessions in Baltimore, and Houston you can always contact Total Speech Therapy for help at 410-696-3301 or by sending an email to yasminah@totalspeechtherapy.com. We have specialized speech-language therapists who can help your loved ones regain their speech.

The majority of speech and language disorders are detected early on. This is typically observed during the early stages of language development when the child first begins to experiment with sound production. But stuttering typically starts between the ages of two and three, when children begin stringing words into sentences.

What is stuttering?

Repetition of words or phrases is often the earliest indicator of stuttering. You may also notice repetitive and prolonged sounds, speech blockages, and difficulty speaking. There are a wide variety of hypotheses have been proposed to explain the phenomenon of stuttering in children. However, none of these things are completely known. Today, brain scans can be performed with relative ease, helping us learn more about the neural mechanisms at play during stuttering. These scans prove that stuttering results from a glitch in the brain’s handling of speech signals.

There is strong evidence that genetics play a role in stuttering, as approximately 60% of people who stutter also have a family history of stuttering. However, the exact mechanisms by which stuttering is passed down from generation to generation remain unclear. In a recent study, researchers tracked the development of a large sample of infants and toddlers. Results showed that 11% of children’s stuttering had started by age 4. Most children who stutter in preschool outgrow it by the time they’re teenagers, but it’s difficult to predict which kids will make a full recovery.

As a developmental disability, stuttering can prevent a child from reaching his or her full academic and professional potential, making early intervention crucial.

The earlier a stuttering problem is treated, the better the outcome. This is because it is much more challenging to treat children who are older than 6 years old. If not addressed until adolescence, the problem can persist throughout life. As soon as parents become aware of their child’s stuttering, they should consult a speech therapist for assistance.

The advantages of early intervention for stuttering 

Those who stutter have the best chance of success if they begin treatment as soon as they are diagnosed. The research shows that the chances of a child recovering from stuttering with the help of speech therapy are increased by nearly eight times if treatment begins early.

If your child is stuttering, speech therapy should be started immediately. Your child can overcome his or her stuttering and learn to speak fluently and confidently with the help of stuttering therapy.

The goals of treating stuttering with speech therapy are as follows:

  • Reduce the frequency of stuttering
  • Reduce the stress associated with public speaking
  • Reduce word omissions
  • Enhance your communication abilities

Total Speech Therapy has a team of speech pathologists who collaborate with you and your child to meet their needs.

How Do You Know When You Need a Speech Evaluation?

It is common for children to stutter and have less than perfect fluency as they develop their speaking skills. Parents may worry that their child is stuttering because of the frequency with which they repeat words or phrases.

If parents notice their child stutters for more than six months, if the stuttering begins after the age of three, or if stuttering runs in the family, they should take their child to a specialist.

If your child starts to feel uncomfortable when they have to communicate, it’s best to schedule an appointment with us. Some parents may recognize avoidance reactions in their children, such as head nodding, excessive use of filler words such as “um,” abandoning a thought in the middle of a sentence, or changing the words they are saying.

Children who stutter typically experience social anxiety as a result of the condition, which can be extremely embarrassing for them in various settings. It is possible for people who stutter to develop social anxiety, in which they become terrified of speaking in front of other people, which can lead to chronic stuttering. People who stutter can develop severe anxiety if they aren’t given the proper treatment. It’s embarrassing for them to interact with others, whether it’s in a group or one-on-one. This can be a very difficult process, but learning strategies to improve one’s speech can help one overcome their embarrassment.

Our expertise and unique approach to treating speech, language, swallowing, and stuttering make us one of the best speech centers in both Baltimore and Houston. You won’t have to leave your house because we’ll come to you instead. We guarantee the highest quality of care and the most positive outcomes wherever you are, whether that’s at home, in a hospital, a school, or a daycare. At Total Speech Therapy, we also provide high-quality outpatient speech therapy services on an individual basis. Book a private consultation by calling 410-696-3301 or writing to yasminah@totalspeechtherapy.com.

A parent’s responsibilities are extensive. They are guiding their children to become the best people they can be. However, getting a diagnosis of speech and language difficulties can be devastating for a family. This is the hardest time for both the child and their parents. The child needs high quality speech therapy and a lot of patience and support from their parents as they go through speech therapy.

There are many things you can do to help your child through each stage of Speech Therapy. We are professionals in Baltimore and Houston who work with kids of all ages, and we’d love to share some tips with you to help your kid succeed.

How Can a Parent Help During Speech Therapy? 

It can be nerve-racking taking your child to a Speech Pathologist for the first time, no matter what age they are. It can be intimidating to put yourself out there and interact with new people and explore unfamiliar environments. As a parent, your first task in Speech Therapy will be to help your child become accustomed to his or her new surroundings.

Home practice is the next step in the parent’s role in speech therapy, which will help your child get closer to his or her objectives. If you’re a parent just starting out on the road to Speech Therapy, read on for some advice from us.

Helpful Steps Parents Can Take During Their Child’s Speech Therapy 

Offer Encouragement and Help  

The best thing you can do to help your child succeed in Speech Therapy is to encourage and support them. Motivate and excite your child about their upcoming Speech Therapy sessions while you’re in the car together. Show your child that you are proud of the progress they are making in the therapy session by taking an active role when necessary.

Develop a Schedule and Stick to it

Speech therapy is most effective when it is combined with regular appointments and home practice. Parents should establish and maintain at-home routines that include time for speech therapy practice activities. Some of these activities may be as straightforward as having regular conversations with your kid or reading aloud from a word list. Your child’s Speech Pathologist will advise you on the most beneficial home practice based on their specific needs.

Investing at least 30 minutes per day into speech therapy practice is strongly suggested. Stop worrying about how “perfect” it is. The time or location of speech practice is not predetermined in any way. It is possible to complete even while your child is using the restroom. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to be completed.

Applaud their SMALL Success  

Your child will have successes and milestones in Speech Therapy along the way. They’ll also be successful in the real world, whether at the supermarket or in the classroom. You should rejoice when success finally comes your way. Celebrating and praising your child’s progress in Speech Therapy will not only encourage them to continue with their therapy but will also boost their self-esteem.

There will be days when your child is struggling with Speech Therapy and may feel frustrated with themselves and others. So on the good days, rejoice with them and let them know how proud you are of their progress.

Keep an Eye Out for Signs that Your Child Needs a Break

While we do advocate for regular and frequent Speech Therapy sessions, we also recognize that a short break from therapy may be beneficial for some children. Your child will be much more motivated to continue working with their Speech Pathologist if they are able to apply what they have learned in between appointments.

When in Doubt, Get Help From Outside

Besides speech therapists, many other members of the Allied Health Professions can help your child along the way. For optimal treatment and results, your doctor may suggest involving specialists like psychologists, OTs, PTs, audiologists, and pediatricians. When this type of assistance is suggested from without, it is crucial that it be investigated and pursued.

Be Mindful of your Health and Happiness

As professionals, we at Total Speech Therapy understand how difficult it can be to prioritize your own well-being while also taking care of your children, other family members, and yourself, while also keeping up with their schedules for speech therapy and other activities. Although you have a lot going on, don’t forget to put your own health and happiness first. Even if you’ve had a rough week, remember that your child and family rely on you. In times of need, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance and make use of the resources available to you in your network.

Seeking additional information on pediatric speech therapy? Call 410-696-3301 or email Yasminah at yasminah@totalspeechtherapy.com to make an appointment to learn more about the speech therapy sessions that your child will go through so that you are ready for the road ahead.

Speech therapists help children who have difficulties with speech, such as stuttering, sound production, and sentence construction. Speech therapists are employed in a wide variety of settings, from community clinics and hospitals to schools for students with special needs and nursing homes.

The objectives of a pediatric speech therapist:

A pediatric speech therapist works with kids and teens to help them talk more clearly, become more expressive in other ways, and develop healthier social relationships. This may involve helping kids who have trouble communicating because of issues like dyslexia or a delay in their overall development. It could also involve teaching kids how to improve their speech or expand their vocabulary.

Following an evaluation of the child’s condition, tailored treatment plans are developed. If a kid has trouble communicating verbally, for instance, it might be helpful to teach them to sign language. Helping others with their reading, writing, or spelling may be necessary. Speech therapists help kids learn to talk and learn new words to help them communicate better.

Early assistance:

A little over 5% of respondents in a survey of almost 30,000 people reported having trouble communicating. In light of this, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible if your child shows signs of speech or language difficulty.

It’s important to find out as much as possible about a speech therapist’s history before hiring them. Verify that they have worked in the field for some time, hold a relevant degree, and have expertise in this area. Inquire about the length and cost of the sessions, as well as what you can do to assist the child’s development. Choose a therapist who you feel will work well with you and your loved ones. If you want your child to get the best possible treatment, it’s important to know what a therapist does and is responsible for before you choose one.

The Function of a Speech Therapist

  1. Conducting a detailed analysis of the speech disorder

Several distinct language and communication disorders exist. The primary role of a speech therapist is to evaluate a child with a speech disorder in order to determine the specific nature of the disorder and the best course of treatment. Standardized testing, observational scales, and your own feedback will all go into determining your child’s communicative strengths and weaknesses. The purpose of these tests is to gauge the child’s level of oral motor development, vocabulary, fluency, and phonological awareness.

  1. Suggesting potential therapeutic measures

As soon as your speech problem is identified, your therapist will begin formulating a plan and investigating potential treatments. Articulation exercises are sometimes incorporated into treatment plans in addition to focusing on underlying causes. Auditory habilitation and auditory rehabilitation are two types of speech therapy that therapists may use to help children who are having trouble hearing. They also educate parents on the value of starting therapy early to help a child’s language and social skills flourish.

  1. Implementing programs to correct speech disorders

The program is implemented based on the child’s baseline level of development in terms of speech and language abilities, as well as mental and physical growth. Since speech is innate and mostly automatic, gradually increasing the difficulty of his therapy sessions will help him build a solid foundation for his future communication skills. Patience and practice are essential in the field of speech therapy. Some children begin to show improvement in as little as a week, while others may take several months.

  1. Giving parents access to at-home speech therapy exercises

Children see their speech therapists once a week for an average of two hours (this varies by treatment plan), but they remain in their parents’ care around the clock. The speech therapist’s job is to educate the parents on how they can help their child with speech and language therapy at home through activities like reading aloud, talking openly, and singing songs.

  1. Keep an eye on the patient and see where things stand

An IEP (individual education plan) is a document used by speech therapists to track and report student progress to families. A competent speech therapist would routinely seek the parents’ opinions and comments. Once the therapy’s goals have been accomplished, the therapist will begin winding down the sessions.

Conclusion

About 2% to 3% of all students in elementary through high school have some form of language or speech disorder. They have the potential to hinder the kid’s verbal and nonverbal communication skills. In order to help your child communicate more clearly, speech therapy is recommended. Speech therapists work with kids to improve their communication skills.

The speech therapists at Total Speech Therapy evaluate each child on an individual basis to determine the nature and severity of any issues impacting the child’s communication skills. They also collaborate closely with parents and other caretakers of kids who have or are at risk for speech disorders.

We are committed to offering mental health and therapeutic services that are of the highest possible quality and are supported by solid, empirical data. Our consultants work hand in hand to design a program that is focused on children and encourages their growing skills and abilities. We feel strongly that no child should be denied access to quality therapy because of financial or logistical considerations. To browse our available therapists and schedule an appointment, please call us at 410-696-3301 or send an email to yasminah@totalspeechtherapy.com.

It can be frightening and overwhelming to learn that your child has autism. However, the diagnosis is just a starting point; there are many different therapy options available depending on your child’s unique needs. Over the past few decades, more research has been done on autism, and while there is still no known cure, there are a variety of evidence-based tools for treating its symptoms.

Early detection is essential because, according to research, earlier intervention usually yields better outcomes. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, every person who has it will experience it differently. Your doctor may include any of these therapies—or a combination of them—in the treatment plan they design for your family to help your child develop a range of crucial life skills.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy has a long history of success in treating the difficult behaviors associated with autism, particularly when it is given to children at a young age. The goal of applied behavior analysis is to teach your child more effective ways to express themselves by viewing their behavior as a form of communication. For instance, if your child rushes out of the classroom at school, she might be signaling that she needs a break. A behavior therapist can identify the underlying causes of challenging behaviors and show your child more effective ways to express her needs, such as signaling for a break rather than fleeing. To ensure that your therapist is employing techniques supported by research, ask if they are trained in applied behavior analysis.

Speech Therapy

Your child can address a range of communication-related problems, including word articulation, sentence construction, and listening abilities, by working with a speech therapist. A therapist may work with your child one-on-one or in a small group with peers who are developing similar skills, depending on your child’s individual needs. The focus of a session might be on comprehending verbal instructions, reacting to social cues, asking and responding to questions, or taking turns in a conversation. Your child can receive the precise instruction, feedback, and practice he needs to improve his communication skills in an intimate, regulated setting. Additionally, speech therapists can assist you in determining whether any assistive communication devices are a worthwhile investment.

Occupational Therapy

Your child gains more independence in daily living activities with the aid of occupational therapy. Sessions may concentrate on motor skills like gripping a pencil or improving body coordination, or on life skills like eating or getting dressed. Interactive exercises are used by occupational therapists to strengthen the abilities your child needs to become more independent.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

The most popular form of therapy for autistic kids, ABA, uses techniques like positive reinforcement, meaningful rewards, and consequences to help kids with their social skills, language proficiency, and good behavior.

Some of the most common ABA goals are listed below:

  • Better social skills
  • Effective expressive and receptive communication
  • Improved hygiene and self-care
  • When playing with others, encourage cooperative behavior.
  • reducing unproductive behavior

ABA therapy is the most comprehensive program for autism intervention. In order to address issues like effective communication, skill imitation, cognitive abilities, self-regulation, recreational and interpersonal skills, behavioral management, and safety skills, ABA therapy is crucial for kids with autism.

Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)

This approach teaches autistic kids how to develop relationships with their parents and other family members. This family-based therapy includes elements of flexible thinking, social interaction, and psychology. Additionally, children must learn how to handle transitions, which can be particularly challenging. As part of the RDI program, parents receive training and act as their child’s primary therapist.

Play Therapy

When compared to play therapy for other illnesses, autism play therapy is unique. When it comes to autism therapy, therapists are much more prescriptive than they are when treating anxiety or other mental health issues. Children with autism are helped through play therapy to interact with others in a way that makes sense to them. For instance, autism has an impact on how kids interact with one another; a person with autism might focus mainly on one feature of a toy and rarely engage in pretend play.

A speech-language therapist can support children in engaging with others by assisting them in broadening their focus and approach. This kind of therapy can help a child expand their play beyond their own limited experiences and into a world of relationships and group activities. By pursuing their interests, kids can explore their surroundings, emotions, and relationships. If you are looking for a speech therapist near Baltimore, MD or Houston, TX, then Total Speech Therapy can help your kid with the best therapy in their own setting.

Sensory-Integration Therapy

This particular form of occupational therapy concentrates on the challenges many autistic children face when processing sounds, lights, textures, and other sense-related triggers. Through play-based activities, the sessions gradually increase your child’s tolerance to these anxiety-producing triggers. According to recent research, this technique may assist the brain in relearning how to react in a more controlled and positive way. According to one study, children who received sensory-integration therapy in addition to other ongoing therapies improved more than their peers who did not receive this component. Sensory-integration therapy may be a helpful, efficient way to tackle the problem head-on if your child has trouble with stimuli like the feel of food or the noise of a busy room.

Social Skills Therapy

You might choose to sign your child up for therapy sessions that concentrate on fostering and honing social skills. These groups are often led by speech therapists or autism specialists, and they provide a safe environment for children to learn and practice social skills. Children on the autism spectrum frequently require a little more guidance and feedback than typically developing children do in order to learn the unspoken rules of social interaction. Sessions give children explicit modeling and feedback, frequently through entertaining stories and programs, giving them enduring cues and reminders they can refer to as needed.

Autism is still not fully understood, but with early therapy, children can successfully develop the abilities and tools they need to thrive. A speech therapist can help direct you to the best treatment options for your family, regardless of the specific symptoms and behaviors displayed by your child.

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Total Speech Therapy is currently interviewing Speech Language Pathologists with at least two years of experience in servicing the Baltimore City and surrounding areas population.

 

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  •   Graduate from a Speech Pathology program
  •   Current license as a Speech Language Pathologist in MD
  •   At least two years of clinical experience

 

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Feel free to call +1 410-696-3301 or email at yasminah@totalspeechtherapy.com. Or visit https://www.totalspeechtherapy.com/jobs/ to apply for your job.

 

There are different stages or methods for developing vocal abilities in young children, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. When you look at other young children of similar ages, you can see the differences between them. Although this is not the best way to conclude your child’s vocal development because all children develop at their own pace, there are clear milestones you should keep in mind and monitor.

 

Even if the teacher has warned you about stuttering, letter inversion, or distorted words, don’t panic. Consider meeting with a speech-language therapist who can assist your child with specific difficulties.

 

My child struggles to communicate:

All of these bad reflexes, such as zoning, stammering, difficulty pronouncing certain letters (the R, for example) or sounds (the ch becomes s or j), and distorted words (the roar of “r” for a car), can be corrected in a few sessions. Often, it is the fact that he is still sucking his thumb or using a pacifier that is in question: the speech therapist will primarily recommend tongue positioning work in the form of games. If there is a language delay (limited vocabulary, difficulty constructing a sentence, etc.), the follow-up will take longer: the sooner you intervene, the better.

 

Their voice is hoarse:

Dysphonia, or persistent voice disorder, means your child may shout excessively or breathe incorrectly, straining their vocal cords. Speech therapy sessions can improve the child’s vocal quality and help improve their breath control and use of voice.

 

He has reading difficulties:

In kindergarten, we can see that he does not associate a letter with a sound. In first grade, he stumbles on the syllables, jumps or confuses the letters, mixes up similar words, deciphers with difficulty, and does not understand what he reads? The child may be experiencing dyslexia. There are techniques for treating this reading disorder and assisting the child in developing compensatory strategies. Many of them connect letters and sounds to shapes and images. Books and software can also help with learning. If other problems are present, a comprehensive follow-up with a psychomotor therapist and an occupational therapist is scheduled to avoid school failure.

 

Here are some indicators to help you see a little more clearly and identify if a visit to the speech therapist would benefit your little one. Consider your child’s age and whether the signs of difficulty listed below describe your child. If this is the case, it is strongly advised that you begin the process of meeting with a speech therapist.

 

At the age of 1:

  • Your child does not or only occasionally babbles
  • He does not express his needs through sounds or gestures
  • He doesn’t smile or pay attention to his parents when they interact with him
  • He does not respond to his name

 

At the age of 1½:

Your child does not use simple words

 

At the age of 2:

  • Your child does not mimic your words or games
  • Your child’s vocabulary is limited to a few simple words
  • He does not form a sentence.
  • Your child does not ask questions.
  • Does not comprehend basic instructions.

 

At the age of 3:

  • Your child creates sentences out of only two words
  • Your child is having difficulty naming pictures or making requests
  • He does not communicate with any adults other than his parents.
  • Your child is unable to tell a familiar story or hold a brief conversation
  • He struggles to answer the questions “who,” “what,” and “where.”

 

At the age of 4:

  • Your child only speaks in short sentences of 2-3 words
  • He struggles to answer “why” and “when” questions
  • Your child has difficulty understanding long instructions without assistance
  • He has trouble grasping spatial concepts (for example, on, up, down, in)
  • Strangers find it difficult to understand him

 

At the age of 5:

  • Your child has trouble pronouncing sounds
  • Your child’s sentences lack determinants or pronouns
  • Your child has difficulty matching words in sentences
  • When your child speaks, he stutters
  • Your child struggles to tell a story
  • He has difficulty responding to your questions

 

When your child exhibits some or all of the above symptoms at the specified age, you should consider booking an appointment with a speech-language therapist near you. If you stay somewhere near Baltimore or Houston, Total Speech Therapy can help you in a great way to improve the speech capabilities of your child through their professional speech therapy.