Speech & Language Services
PROMPT® (PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is a technique used to help target speech production errors for children with apraxia and speech sound disorders. OWLS Therapy speech-language pathologists are trained in PROMPT® — an approach that uses tactile cues to the face to aid a client in the correct position of their articulators (jaw, tongue, lips) to correctly produce a targeted word, phrase or sentence. The technique develops motor control and the proper oral muscular movements. PROMPT® therapy helps clients eliminate unnecessary muscle movements, such as jaw sliding and inadequate lip rounding, which impede speech clarity. PROMPT® therapy is appropriate for a wide range of clients with communication disorders especially those with motor speech disorders such as childhood apraxia of speech. However, patients with aphasia, dysarthria, pervasive development disorders, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries, non-verbal children and children on the autism spectrum have benefitted from PROMPT® therapy.
Orofacial Myology is the study of muscle patterns that are needed for correct speech and swallowing. Orofacial Myology therapy techniques are used to help treat articulation disorders, dental malocclusions (the misalignment of the upper and lower jaw), feeding and swallowing issues, thumb sucking and oral habits, tongue thrust, tongue tie, drooling, mumbling, mouth breathing, and facial grimacing.
Articulation Therapy targets a child’s ability to correctly produce the sounds for spoken language. Articulation is the process by which various sounds are strung together to produce words. When a child cannot produce, or distorts a sound, it negatively impacts the child being understood which can lead to frustration. At OWLS Therapy, our therapists are trained to use a variety of techniques to remediate such errors and increase your child’s ability to be understood.
Fluency or Stuttering Therapy helps children learn and utilize strategies to help increase fluency during conversation. A fluency disorder, commonly known as stuttering, begins in early childhood (typically before the age of 5) and is often a life-long disorder. However, with the implementation of strategies, a child can prevent instances of stuttering and increase fluent speech. Instances of stuttering are typically characterized by sound prolongations, whole and partial syllable repetitions, whole and partial word repetitions, and blocks (where no sound comes out). Additionally, physical characteristics such as eye blinks and facial grimaces may be present.
Voice/Resonance Therapy helps children use their voice in a correct, healthy manner. Therapy is designed to help children adjust their volume, pitch and/or quality of their voice. Voice disorders are conditions that involve abnormal pitch (too high, too low), loudness (too loud, too quiet), or quality (breathy, hoarse, raspy) of the sound produced for spoken language. Children may need to learn how to use their voice in an appropriate manner as to not damage the larynx or vocal folds which can result in the need for medical treatment. Resonance Therapy is typically required for children with cleft palates as the presence of a cleft palate often results in nasal omissions (air escaping out of the nose at inappropriate times) which results in a nasal quality to speech. Resonance disorders may also be present in children with apraxia of speech due to difficulties with motor planning.
Language therapy covers a variety of needs that a child may have. Language therapy can target receptive language, expressive language, auditory processing disorders, and/or communication difficulties due to autism, social pragmatic language difficulties, and executive functioning. Receptive and Expressive Language Disorders are disorders that impact a child’s ability to understand what is being said to them, their ability to adequately express themselves, or both. Children may find it hard to come up with the right words or form grammatical sentences when speaking or writing. They may also have difficulties with following directions, answering questions, or understanding what they are reading.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), is a disorder which impacts a child’s ability to process spoken language. There is a disconnect between what the ear hears and how the brain interprets the information. Intervention is important as the ramifications of APD can severely effect a child’s academic and educational performance.
Communication Disorders related to Autism — Autism is a speech and language disorder with a spectrum of characteristics with a range of severities. Children have difficulties with social language skills and may also have difficulties with receptive and expressive language and articulation. These difficulties may also be accompanied with other symptoms such as repetitive behaviors, self-stimulating behaviors, rigidity to schedules, sensory issues, and anxiety disorders.
Executive Functioning/Higher Order Thinking Skills are a set of processes which include attentional control, inhibitory control, working memory, cognitive flexibility, reasoning, problem solving, and planning. Children with difficulties in these areas often have trouble completing and turning in assignments on time, being able to use inference and prediction skills during reading, making friends, and solving multi-step problems.
Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention is a method used to evaluate and treat weaknesses in the oral facial areas. The Beckman Oral Motor program involves a series of exercises that strengthen the lips, jaw, cheeks, tongue, and soft palate to help develop appropriate feeding and articulation skills. Since the movements are not age-specific, but rather functional, this program works for all ages and a variety of diagnoses. Additionally, the program does not require the child to have a certain degree of cognitive ability (i.e., ability to follow directions) making it accessible to all.
Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) uses motor learning principles and voice-output communication aids (devices) to give non-verbal children with Autism or other developmental disorders a way to develop spontaneous communication through a speech generating device. The LAMP method utilizes a combination of principles that are needed to develop productive language skills including readiness to learn, joint attention, consistent and unique motor patterns, single words, auditory signals and natural consequences. The method also addresses weaknesses that negatively impact language development such as impaired motor skills, engagement, and sensory and auditory processing skills.