It is frustrating for both you and your child when they are unable to communicate with words. That is why the first thing we do at Bayside is to find the best way for them to communicate using augmentative alternative communication. This can include pictures, sign language, and speech generating devices (SGDs). Evidence shows that using AAC decreases frustration, increases language ability, and also helps children to develop speech. If your child has a known medical condition such as speech apraxia, autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, or genetic condition, it is important to get AAC in their hands as young as possible. We don’t want them to miss out in developing language, because they cannot talk yet. Here at Bayside Pediatric Therapy, we will do a complete AAC evaluation with the occupational therapist and speech therapist to determine what system will help your child the best. We submit all the paperwork and work with insurance companies to make sure your child is getting what they need.
We use an AAC technique called, LAMP. Nicole is a certified therapist to use this technique: http://www.aacandautism.com/lamp-certified/disclaimer
There are many different reasons your child may be difficult to understand. They may have a simple articulation problem where they need some help with tongue placement and practice. They may have childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) which is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems pronouncing sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech (ASHA, 2017). We specialize in PROMPT therapy which helps with motor planning. This therapy helps children with simple articulation disorders as well as children with severe speech apraxia. This link describes PROMPT therapy.
Your child may have a language delay or disorder if they are having difficulty with grammar, reading, comprehension, following directions, understanding concepts, understanding questions, formulating thoughts, coming up with words, and/or struggling in school. At Bayside we will conduct a full language evaluation to determine what areas they are struggling with and develop a specific comprehensive treatment plan to help them in the areas they are struggling in.
We offer speech and language therapy in both Spanish and English. A full evaluation will take place to determine if the child has a true delay or if it is just a language difference. Children learning two languages may take longer to learn the grammatical structure of each language, however this does not necessarily make them language delayed. The bilingual evaluation will allow your therapist to know how best to treat your child in each language.