We assess and treat children for:
- speech – articulation and phonology;
- language – both receptive (comprehension) and expressive (talking);
- literacy – reading, phonological awareness, writing and spelling;
- childhood apraxia of speech (CAS);
- orofacial myofunctional (OM) disorders (including thumb or finger sucking, tongue thrust, altered speech patterns, mouth breathing, poor posture and incorrect tongue rest position) ; and,
- other communication delays, disorders and problems.
Clients are assessed so that we can:
- ascertain whether he or she has a language, speech, literacy, stuttering, voice, OM or other disorder and, if so,
- recommend how best to treat or manage it.
Assessment involves identifying any underlying problem and understanding how this may affect the client’s participation in his or her daily activities at home, preschool or school and in social situations.
We use a combination of formal and informal assessment methods, including standardised assessments, interviews, observations, analyses of language and speech samples, perceptual assessments, and tailored tests to produce a holistic picture of a client’s communicative strengths and weaknesses across a range of environments.
A child with incorrect orofacial myofunctional patterns may develop a lisp or have difficulty articulating certain speech sounds. Lisps, without exception, are accompanied by an abnormal swallowing technique. Correct swallowing depends on proper relationship between the muscles of the face, tongue and pharynx (throat). Correct articulation relies on specific positioning of the tongue, lips and functional movement of the jaw. When positioning issues arise, the muscles will be imbalanced and uncoordinated, often resulting in speech difficulties and a reduced ability to communicate.
OMT addresses these issues through non-invasive, exercise-based motor programming techniques, allowing the orofacial musculature to function optimally, and thereby increasing social well-being and confidence. Treatment to correct the misarticulation of certain speech sounds can then take place.
Maximum lip closure, correct swallowing technique and the ability to raise the tongue freely are essential for speech correction.
One-on-one OM, speech, oral language, voice and stuttering therapy
Should a client be assessed as having a disorder – for which the research evidence supports an effective speech pathology intervention – we will work with the client and his or her family to develop a management plan, with appropriate specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound goals.
A standard one-on-one-therapy session is 45 minutes.