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

Cleft Lip and Palate Therapy

A cleft lip or cleft palate occurs when either the upper lip doesn’t close properly or the palates inside your baby’s mouth don’t bond correctly during your baby’s gestation period. Speech impediments and feeding problems can occur depending on the severity of the cleft. Many parents opt for cleft surgery after birth and in turn, the child does not experience impediments, however if the cleft is not visible you may not see signs of a problem until later on.

A palate cleft can make feeding difficult because there could be a clear opening between the nose and mouth, which means milk could end up in the wrong place. Through therapy you can relearn how to feed your baby so that doesn’t happen, a very common mistake is allowing a child to lay flat on his back when drinking the milk – this should never happen, cleft palate or not.

As your child begins down the road to speech you may notice something curious about the tone of her voice. She may speak in a nasal tone which is one of the indications of a cleft palate. She may begin to develop incorrect ways of breathing and placing her tongue when making sounds due to the cleft. Speech-language therapy helps in correcting speech issues related to cleft lip and palate through teaching her how to correctly formulate sounds and breathe while doing so.

Autism

A child with Autism Spectrum Disorder deserves the same chance as any other child to play a part in the social fabric of our world. However, having autism means your child’s very ability to communicate with the outside world can be limited. This is where speech therapy can help. Parents often come to me with concerns such as:

  • My child cannot speak
  • My child makes strange sounds and yells for no reason
  • My child echoes everything I say
  • I cannot communicate with my child
  • I cannot understand what my child is saying

These concerns are of course troubling but addressing them is the first step toward providing your child a chance to be a part of our social world. We will tackle both verbal and nonverbal communication during therapy, since both forms are important in connecting with the environment and other people.

Therapy will be based upon the severity of the communication problem.If speech is difficult for your child than we will start off with other forms of communication to get the ball rolling, such as using pictures to communicate. We can also use electronic Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices that produce audio output based upon what your child inputs.

However, if speech is not the problem but rather the nuances of language than this requires a different approach. Therapy may include helping your child with the social use of language. As speech-language pathologists we are trained on the pragmatics and semantics of language.

 

Voice Therapy

The ability to use your voice in an effective manner is essential for both business and personal relationships. Voice disorders can make it difficult for people to feel confident about themselves and their ideas, but with some voice therapy you can learn how to control your voice and change the way the world hears you.

Voice disorders include Vocal Cord Dysfunction which is when the vocal cords close when they should be open and in turn give you a scratchy-sounding voice. Chronic coughing and chronic hoarseness are both tough on your vocal cords and make it difficult to carry conversations or conduct presentations. Speech therapy can assist you in managing your voice by learning the right way to breathe and also how to relax your throat in order to produce the voice you want people to hear.

Does a Child Under Your Care Require Speech Therapy?

Wouldn’t it be great if an ASHA certified speech and language pathologist could teach you how to identify a child who is exhibiting speech-language disorder?

Total Speech Therapy’s lead speech-language pathologist, Yasminah Abdullah, M.S., CCC-SLP, will be conducting complimentary seminars for teachers, caregivers, and healthcare professionals from August 28 to Nov., 15, 2014.

Each seminar will run for 45 minutes. During the presentations Yasminah will address the following topics:

  • Speech/language development milestones
  • Causes of speech and language problems
  • An overview of speech and language disorders
  • Therapy options available to your child
  • Insurance and eligibility for speech therapy programs

By the end of the seminar, we hope to equip your staff with pre-screening basics and how to refer a child under your care to a speech therapy professional. The presentation is free of charge, and we will run these programs annually as part of our community outreach program.

To book a seminar date at your location kindly call Tel: 410-696-3301.

Language Therapy

Language Therapy

Children can sometimes have difficulty understanding the uses of various parts of speech. This is where language therapy can assist. Even as adults we remember the meaning of certain parts of speech like noun, verb and adjective but may forget what is exactly meant by a correlative conjunction or linking verb so it is not so unusual when a child is unsure. In language therapy we can address the parts of speech that are difficult for your child to understand and then focus on those areas which is a great way to develop exceptional literacy skills as he/she gets older.

We Travel To You!

In our years of experience, we have seen significant treatment results when we are able to work with patients in their own environments. Traveling to the patient allows us to interact and work with them in a comfortable and familiar setting, which produces optimal results. Another benefit of having mobile therapists, is that we have an opportunity to communicate with the primary healthcare providers, which enables us to work effectively within the targets set for the patient.

Looking Forward to Hearing From You!

My team and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. You have my personal and professional promise that we will work with you, with the utmost commitment, to provide the best possible care and treatment for your patients.

Yasminah Abdullah, M.S., CCC-SLP
410-696-3301.

Articulation Therapy

Articulation Therapy

Children say the cutest things like, “Can I pleathe hab a cookie.” Stuff like that is cheek-pinch worthy however this is a sign of a problem and should be addressed early in order to prevent a habit from forming. If you notice your child omitting letters, adding letters or substituting letters in words, an assessment with an SLP is a good idea. This sort of speech issue can be solved a lot more easily the earlier it is addressed.

We Travel To You!

In our years of experience, we have seen significant treatment results when we are able to work with patients in their own environments. Traveling to the patient allows us to interact and work with them in a comfortable and familiar setting, which produces optimal results. Another benefit of having mobile therapists, is that we have an opportunity to communicate with the primary healthcare providers, which enables us to work effectively within the targets set for the patient.

Looking Forward to Hearing From You!

My team and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. You have my personal and professional promise that we will work with you, with the utmost commitment, to provide the best possible care and treatment for your patients.

Yasminah Abdullah, M.S., CCC-SLP
410-696-3301.

Brain Fitness

Few days ago I had the pleasure of presenting a seminar on Brain Fitness to a group of LPs and OTs, Clients, and Caregivers. I thought of sharing a my lecture notes in our TST.com blog.

The seminar main points can be summarize as following:

What is Brain Fitness?

  • Brain fitness is the capacity of a person to meet the various cognitive demands of daily life.
  • The ability to assimilate information, connect relationships, and develop reasonable conclusions and plans.
  • Having a fit brain means that you possess the thinking and feeling abilities required to work productively, sustain meaningful personal relationships, and achieve your goals in life.
  • Just as a professional athlete sets various physical fitness goals, everyone gets to set their own brain fitness performance goals that can change over time at each stage in our lives.

Why is Brain Fitness Important?

  • Brain fitness is as important as physical fitness. Just as you can exercise your arms, legs, and abdominal muscles; you can also exercises your memory, attention, problem solving and other memory tasks. As with physical exercise, exercising your brain can help your improve your overall performance and to feel your best!
  • Studies have shown that “early detection” of cognitive (memory) impairment is a preventative method that can reduce an individual’s risk or rate of cognitive decline and/or dementia.

What is Brain Training?

  • The structured and efficient use of mental exercises designed to build targeted brain-based networks and capacities.
  • Goal is to improve specific brain functions, similar to physical conditioning training.
  • “neurons that fire together wire together” – repeatedly stimulating/training a specific network of neurons results in new and strengthened connections in this network.

Our principal SLP Ms.Yasminah Abdullah can be reached at yasminah@totaspeechtherapy.com

Pediatric Speech-Language Therapy Program

At Total Speech Therapy we provide high-quality evaluations and therapy for children with speech- language disorders, delays and disabilities. Family members and/or caregivers play a key role in our individual client-based approach, and are involved every step of the way. Our speech-language pathologists work collaboratively with family, physicians and related professionals, to ensure that the child gets the state-of-the-art services and support they need to succeed. Our therapists have advanced training and experience working with diagnoses including.

  • Phonological Disorders
  • Auditory Processing Disorders
  • Craniofacial abnormalities
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
  • Genetic Syndromes Articulation and Motor Speech Disorders Voice Disorders
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Expressive and Receptive Language Disorders
  • Fluency/Stuttering Semantic and/or pragmatic Language Disorders
  • Sensory Integration Disorders Feeding or Swallowing Problems

Please contact us to learn more about the Pediatric Speed-Language Therapy Program. Referrals for speech therapy outpatient services may be made by physicians, community agencies, insurance companies, healthcare professionals. family members, or caregivers.

A day in the life of a Speech Pathologist

Every morning I wake up with a feeling of excitement about what the day ahead will hold.  Today could be the day for a speech breakthrough, my child can’t speak could turn into my child won’t stop talking, an embarrassing stutter could smooth out into something soulful. Anything is possible.

I try to limit the number of patients I see per day so I can give more time to each person – from preparing for the speech therapy session to working through it and then spending some time afterward to reflect and tweak it to pull more from the patient. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I don’t become the drill sergeant speech therapist pushing patients beyond limits – far from it.

By pulling a little more I mean tapping into the strength that is already there but just needs a little awakening nudge. That’s often where stories of miracle recoveries come from – when the untapped inner power is unleashed.

If I am seeing a new patient I will prepare for an assessment session which will help in determining exactly the type of therapy a patient needs. The goal of course is to get the patient functional, but for example if your child does not speak at all then we will start communication through pictures before moving to speaking mode so that the transition is gentle. In some cases we use electronic Augmentative Alternative  Communication (AAC) devices which can really help children that are withdrawn open up since they find it easier to connect through a device – it is really quite fascinating.

I believe parental or caregiver participation in the healing process is absolutely essential for success. So a typical day can include a speech therapy session with the patient and then a consulting session with the parent or caregiver. What goes on at home has a big impact on how effective the speech therapy will be so I provide tips on what you can do at home to enforce what is taught during the speech and language therapy sessions.

I specialize in speech and swallowing therapies related to neurological disorders so a typical day will also include consultations with doctors who are looking for a speech and language pathologist (SLP) to join the rehabilitation team.

I then provide special after-school sessions for kids and evening sessions for adults. The days can be long but since I run my own practice I space out the sessions throughout the day based on patient needs while ensuring I schedule in a coffee and chocolate break for myself in between (healthy bitter chocolate of course:)

No matter how long the day is I am always ready to go early the next morning since a new day means coming face to face with little miracles that make it all so worth it.