Speech and Language Therapy
The goal of speech and language therapy at Cawn/Krantz is to foster optimal communication through interventions that are unique to each child. Diagnosis and intervention are addressed through an integrated approach, incorporating the child's whole developmental profile.
Articulation is a motor act requiring sequential movement of the articulators to produce speech sounds together and form words. Omission, substitution, and distortion of speech sounds may be well within the developmental guidelines of speech production; however, an evaluation may determine delays or impairments in producing speech sounds. Processing difficulties, weakness (dysarthria), oral-motor difficulties, and coordination of speech sound movement (apraxia) may be the underlying causes of articulation difficulties.
Children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) possess deficits in the pronunciation of sounds, syllables, and words. Apraxia is characterized by difficulties with motor planning, not muscle weakness or paralysis: the child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words. Treatment and evaluation by a speech-language pathologist who has knowledge of CAS is essential in ruling out other causes of speech problems. For more information, visit our Apraxia page.
Feeding difficulties may be related to sensory processing difficulties, oral-motor deficits, medical difficulties, and/or emotional challenges. We use a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to evaluation and treatment. For more information, visit the C/K Feeding Therapy page.
LANGUAGE DIFFICULTIES (Receptive/Expressive Language)
Receptive language relates to the understanding of language; it generally precedes the expression of language. Children‘s comprehension of language—including early understanding of word meanings and concepts, as well as question forms—is an early indicator of typical language development. Receptive language difficulties may be a result of delays in comprehension of language structure, hearing impairment, or auditory processing difficulties. Difficulties with attention, engagement, and visual and sensory processing can also contribute to difficulties with comprehension.
Expressive language refers to the ability to express thoughts and ideas through a developmental continuum—examples include vocabulary growth, morphology (e.g., tenses, pronouns), syntactical structure, and verbal organization. Difficulties in expression of language may be a result of a restricted vocabulary, delays in syntactical usage, or challenges with language organization and social language usage. Therapeutic intervention at Cawn/Krantz is guided by interactions that are meaningful to the child, with movement and play integrated into therapeutic processes.
Auditory processing describes what happens when the brain recognizes and interprets surrounding sounds. An auditory processing disorder adversely affects the processing or interpretation of the auditory information. A child who appears to have difficulties in processing language and auditory information requires careful evaluation in order to accurately diagnosis the disorder and determine the most developmentally apropriate therapies for the child. For more information, visit the C/K Auditory Processing Disorders page.
Stuttering can be present in a typically developing preschool child; however, the quality and persistence of stuttering in the young child may be indicative of a stuttering disorder. Parent-guided fluency-enhancing programs focused on play can help facilitate this speech disorder. Treatment programs at Cawn/Krantz utilize both a fluency-enhancing program and the Lidcombe Program, a parent-led behavior treatment method.
Children who have problems with social interactions often exhibit difficulties with social language and the usage of pragmatic language (the "rules" for social language). They may have little variety in the language they use; their storytelling may be disorganized; and they may respond inappropriately or interject unrelated topics during conversations. Often times they are unable to recognize and use non-verbal cues from play partners to help them repair, comment, and reciprocate their play and language. Pragmatic disorders often coexist with other language problems, such as vocabulary development or grammar. For more information on treatment options, visit our Social Development Programs page.
LANGUAGE-BASED LEARNING DISABILITIES
Language-based learning disabilities are problems with age-appropriate reading, spelling, and/or writing. Language intervention includes strategies to support the development of written language and literacy, such as reading phonics and reading comprehension. Our therapy model always includes collaboration and coordination with a child's school curriculum; we also advocate for services that suport the child in the classroom and increase successful language-based learning. For more information on treatment options, visit our Speech-Language Therapy and Auditory Processing Disorders pages.
Treatments at Cawn/Krantz are individually designed, often incorporating more than one treatment protocol or program. Treatment programs include (but are not limited to):
Kaufman Apraxia Treatment Program
The Kaufman Speech Praxis Treatment Technique is a means of increasing motor-speech coordination in children with apraxia of speech. This teaching method models how young children attempt "first words": the word "bottle" may begin as "ba," progress to "baba," later becomes "bado," and eventually "bottle." The Kaufman Technique gives children of all ages a way to practice difficult words using word approximations, refining and reinforcing these attempts as they work towards whole target words and phrases.
Lindamood Bell Programs: LIPS® & Visualizing and Verbalizing® Programs
Lindamood Bell programs are highly-recognized treatments that use stimulation of sensory function to teach children skills necessary for academic success. The programs focus on reading, spelling, and comprehension.
PROMPT (PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral-Muscular Targets)
This well-researched program provides a multi-dimensional approach to speech production disorders. A clinician trained in the PROMPT method is able to systematically assess production by observing several modalities (auditory, visual, and tactile) across motor and sensory-motor domains, thereby addressing the integrity of overall motor, oral-motor, sequencing, and speech characteristics. The PROMPT clinician will plan and organize a specific direction and treatment protocol to fit the individual needs of the child, utilizing PROMPT-designated cuing and clinical input to the speech system.
Beckman Oral-Motor Protocol
The Beckman Oral-Motor Protocol provides assisted movement to activate muscle contraction and prevent resistance to building strength. This intervention, which does not require the cognitive participation of the child, increases functional response to pressure and movement; range, strength, variety, and control of movement for multiple facets of facial movement—lips, cheeks, jaw and tongue—is also increased.