Long Beach Speech
Rebecca thorsen M.S., CCC-SLP, Com
A licensed and credentialed Speech Pathologist is specially trained to evaluate and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, fluency, and swallowing disorders. If a child has difficulty understanding others and sharing thoughts and ideas, then he/she may have a language disorder. If a child cannot produce speech sounds accurately or fluently, or has problems with voice, then the child may have a speech disorder. Feeding and/or swallowing disorders include difficulty gathering food in preparation to chew and swallow. Locating an ASHA certified and licensed Speech Pathologist is the first step in helping your child fulfill their goals. A list of ASHA providers can be found by accessing the ASHA website at www.ASHA.org
Swallowing disorders, also medically known as dysphagia, can occur during any stage of the swallowing process. There are four stages including the oral preparatory phase, the oral phase, the pharyngeal phase, and the esophageal phase. There are several signs and symptoms of dysphagia including refusing food and liquid, stiffness and arching of the body during feeding, slow feedings, problems with breastfeeding, problems with chewing, coughing during eating, excessive drooling, loss of food while eating, messy eating, vomiting, gurgly voice quality while eating, and difficulty gaining weight. Speech pathologist (specially trained) and Certified Orofacial Myologists play a primary role in assessing and treating individuals with dysphagia.
A receptive language disorder involves difficulty understanding what others are saying. A child may have problems following directions and organizing information they hear. An expressive language disorder involves difficulty in communicating thoughts, ideas, and experiences. They might understand a story read to them, but have difficulty describing it back to the parent. A limited vocabulary, use of vague language, poor grammar, and a limited variety of sentence structure denote expressive language deficits. Some children display both receptive and expressive language deficits. For a comprehensive list of stages of language development, click here.
An articulation disorder is a speech disorder in which the child has difficulty saying certain sounds (consonants and vowels). For an articulation development chart, click here. A phonological disorder is a language based problem. The child has difficulty organizing their speech sounds into a system. This is a patterning error. For a comprehensive table identifying when these errors are eliminated, click here.
A voice disorder is characterized by the abnormal production of voice quality, pitch, resonance, loudness, or tone for the child's age/sex. An ENT evaluation must always accompany a voice client before treatment can commence. A fluency disorder could be characterized by the interruption in the flow of speech by irregular rate or rhythm. A child may experience repetitions of sounds, syllables, words or phrases and may display visible tension or abnormal mannerisms. For more information on stuttering disorders, click here.