Speech Therapy

Language Development:

  • Developmental Language Disorder is a communication disorder that often interferes with the expression and reception of the spoke word in approximately 7-8% of school aged children.  Though this is a language dysfunction, this disorder can affect speaking, listening, reading, and writing in birth to school aged children.
  • Signs of Developmental Language Disorder in Pre-school Age Children:
    • Child appears to be delayed in putting words together.
    • Child struggles to learn new words and make conversation.
    • Child displays a difficulty following directions
    • Child has frequent grammatical errors
  • Signs of Developmental Language Disorder in Older Children:
    • Child has limited use of complex sentences.
    • Child has difficulty finding the right words.
    • Child has difficulty understanding figurative language.
    • Child has been identified to have reading problems.
    • Child appears disorganized with storytelling and writing.
    • Child has frequent grammatical and spelling errors.

Speech Sound Disorders

  • Speech sound disorders is different from language development in the aspect of focusing in the muscle movements and tone of the spoken word. It is the physical act of talking. It takes significant coordination and muscle control for your tongue, lips, and jaw to move to produce sounds in the way we commonly recognize as “speech”. 
  • Problems with speech occur when there is a breakdown in the motor planning for sounds. This is essentially the brain connection to the muscles to produce the vibration we know of as “sound”. Typically, we see speech problems with younger children. These would be “developmental” speech disorders. Though speech disorders may also affect older adults after suffering conditions such as a stroke, TBI, or dementia.
  • It is normal for children to produce some sounds incorrectly when learning to talk. However, most speech sounds should be mostly in place by age 4.
  • Some common adaptations for Speech Sounds
    • May produce “w” for “r” as in “wed” for “red.” 
    • May omit sounds as in “nana” for banana.
    • These errors are considered typical for younger children, but they should not persist as your child gets older.
  • Another indication of a speech sound disorder is if your child is frequently misunderstood by the community. This can be his/her teacher, friends, and unfamiliar people.  Your child should be understood by unfamiliar listeners 50% of the time by age 2.

The chart below shows when children who speak English typically develop sounds:

By 3 monthsMakes cooing sounds
By 5 monthsLaughs and makes playful sounds
By 6 monthsMakes speech-like babbling sounds like puh, ba, mi, da
By 1 yearBabbles longer strings of sounds like mimi, upup, bababa
By 3 yearsSays m, n, h, w, p, b, t, d, k, g, and f in words

Familiar people understand the child's speech
By 4 yearsSays y and v in words

May still make mistakes on the s, sh, ch, j, ng, th, z, l, and r sounds 

 Most people understand the child’s speech

Chart from ASHA website: https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Speech-Sound-Disorders/

Overall, 2.3% to 24.6% of school-aged children were estimated to have speech delay or speech sound disorders (Black, Vahratian, & Hoffman, 2015; Law, Boyle, Harris, Harkness, & Nye, 2000; Shriberg, Tomblin, & McSweeny, 1999; Wren, Miller, Peters, Emond, & Roulstone, 2016).

 Swallowing Therapy

  • Swallowing therapy can be often misinterpreted at getting “choked up” or having difficulty with medications. Generally, everyone has difficulty swallowing at some point in their lifetime. However, there are conditions where both adults and children can require additional intervention for swallowing disorder. A swallowing disorder of this type is known as dysphagia (dis-Fay-juh)
    • Some signs of a swallowing disorder (both adults and kids)
      • Coughing with eating and drinking (during or right after)
      • Gurgling or Wet voice sounds when speaking after eating/drinking
      • Feeling like there needs to be extra effort or chewing with eating
      • Liquid or food “accidentally” leaking out during mealtimes
      • Food “getting stuck” in the meal process
      • Difficulty breathing after meals
      • Weigh loss despite adequate meals
    • There could be a general feeling of embarrassment with this condition due to not understanding what is wrong. This is a very treatable condition that a few treatments to compensatory strategies could promote not only good nutrition but improve overall meal interaction.
    • Treatment for Swallowing Disorders – Our SLP can assist you in the following ways:
      • Treatment to assist in the use of your “chewing” and “swallowing” muscles
      • Ways to move during the meal process to assist with food delivery
      • Tips and Tricks to make swallowing safer and more effective
      • Assessing your foods to determine what would be the best source of nutrition for your condition
    • In the case of cognitive impairment or dementia cases – speech therapists can assist in strategies for caregivers to improve nutrition for their loved one.

Feeding Therapy

  • Feeding therapy is defined as the process related to swallowing, eating, and mealtime tasks accomplished by children. This can include strategies to assist with “picky eating” as well as oral motor abilities regarding food. Strategies can also be developed to assist with the coordination of various food textures and sensory difficulties commonly plaguing mealtime in your home.
  • Signs that your child might need feeding therapy:
    • Difficulty with suckling or bottle feeding
    • Child is labeled as a “picky eater”
    • Child only prefers certain shapes, textures, colors of food
    • Child will “limit” what they eat
    • Coughing or gagging observed with innocuous foods
    • Child has difficulty transitioning off of tube feeding
    • Previous hx of cleft palate or cleft palate surgery
  • Having a child that is having difficulties eating and/or around food can be very alarming and sometimes scary for patients. Speech therapy can assist with problem solving this situation for your family and assisting with either at home or in clinic treatment for the conditions observed.

Cognitive Therapy

  • Our speech therapist is a Certified Dementia Care Specialist which means that we are ready to assist with the care of you or your loved one in their overall brain function. Cognitive decline observed with conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s does not have to be as severe and uncomfortable as generally observed.
  • Cognitive Therapy Can provide
    • Brain boost for mild to moderate impairments: This is for your “typically” aging adult and those of us who “just forget things” or “can’t remember like we use to”. Cognitive therapy can provide essential brain support to assist with maintaining top brain function as we age gracefully.
    • Dementia Care and Support: As previously described, dementia cognitive impairment can become exceedingly difficult for both the adult and caregiver involved. Cognitive therapy can help decrease frustration and improve understanding during the disease process so that maximum communication is maintained throughout the patient’s experience.
    • Alzheimer’s support: Alzheimer’s is a very difficult disease especially on the caregiver as well as the patient. Cognitive therapy, even in advanced disease process, can assist with communication and comfort of the adult and caregiver involved. 


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225 Violyn Drive | Branson, MO 65616

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8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


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