Speech and Language Therapy

Most children develop speech and language within a specific timeframe. A child who takes longer or struggles to learn these skills may benefit from speech-language therapy. Speech-language therapy also helps children who have difficulty with reading, writing and social communication. NESCA’s speech-language pathologists assess and treat difficulties with communication and feeding/swallowing.

Speech and Language Disorders

Speech Disorders

  • Articulation Disorder: difficulty with producing individual speech sounds due to incorrect placement of articulators (e.g., tongue, lips).
  • Phonological Disorder: when children continue to produce predictable, rule-based error patterns beyond the developmentally appropriate period.
  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech: a motor speech disorder where children have difficulty sequencing the motor movements for producing speech sounds.
  • Dysarthria: a motor speech disorder caused by muscle weakness.
  • Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders: when there is an abnormal lip, jaw or tongue position during rest, swallowing or speech.
  • Stuttering: when the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases or silent pauses.
  • Voice: when voice quality, pitch or loudness differ or are unusual.

Language Disorders

  • Receptive Language Disorder: difficulty with understanding language.
  • Expressive Language Disorder: difficulty with language expression/output.
  • Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder: difficulty with both language comprehension and expression.
  • Learning Disabilities (Reading, Spelling and Writing): challenges in reading, spelling and writing.
  • Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder: trouble with the use of verbal and nonverbal language for social purposes.

Medical and Developmental Conditions

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Brain Injury

Feeding/Swallowing Disorder (Dysphagia): problems with a range of eating activities that may or may not include problems with swallowing. Please see our Feeding page for more information.

Speech and Language Concerns and Difficulties by Age Group

Preschool-aged Children 

Concerns regarding the following can be addressed through speech/language assessment and therapy:

Difficulty with the following:

  • Understanding words, concepts or gestures
  • Listening, following directions or answering questions
  • Knowing how to take turns when talking to others
  • Saying first words or combining words into sentences within expected timeframes
  • Using gestures
  • Naming and describing objects, ideas and experiences
  • Using correct grammar, such as pronouns and verb forms
  • Interacting socially or playing with others
  • Pronouncing words or being understood by family or others

School-aged Children and Adolescents 

Difficulty with the following:

  • Using vocabulary or describing feelings, ideas and experiences
  • Understanding and completing schoolwork and turning in assignments
  • Listening, following directions or answering questions
  • Reading or understanding what is read
  • Telling or writing stories
  • Making or keeping friends or interacting socially
  • Producing speech/language that is organized and easily understood

Evaluation

Speech and language evaluations allow us to understand a child’s strengths, abilities and challenges. These evaluations consist of a parent/caregiver interview to gather background information and use of formal and informal measures, observations and client-therapist interactions to learn about a child’s skills. The purpose of this is to determine if a child would benefit from direct weekly services and to provide an overall picture of strengths and weaknesses that allow us to prioritize and devise goals for therapy. A brief report outlining skills and therapy recommendations is provided as part of this process. We will work with you to find ways to incorporate more lengthy reports containing suggestions for both home and school if needed, on an hourly basis, but we are not able to bill insurance for lengthy reports, nor those that contain information regarding academic performance or needs.

Therapy

Ongoing therapy is typically recommended once or twice weekly for 45-minute sessions based on a child’s areas of need. Therapy for preschoolers is often play-based and focuses on a child’s interests to foster communication development. For school-aged children and adolescents, therapy often focuses on communication related to academics and social interactions using a combination of direct teaching and preferred games or activities.

Due to COVID-19, speech-language assessment and therapy is currently being provided via telehealth.

 

For more information on Speech and Language Therapy at NESCA, please complete our online Intake Form or email Julie Robinson at: jrobinson@nesca-newton.com.