New Jersey Speech Language Therapy Program
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What is Speech Language Therapy?
New Jersey speech language therapy offers assessment and treatment of communication problems and speech disorders. It is performed by speech-language pathologists (SLPs), which are often referred to as speech and language therapists.
Speech therapy techniques are used to improve communication. New Jersey licensed speech language therapists treat articulation therapy, expressive and receptive language intervention activities, and feeding therapy.
Speech therapy is needed for speech disorders that develop in childhood or speech impairments in adults. Some speech pathologies are due to injury or illness, such as stroke or brain injury.
What Causes Speech Sound Disorders (SSDs)?
Speech sound disorders are most common when children learn speech sounds and cannot produce the correct speech production sounds on their own. Most of the time, we do not know what causes speech sound disorders. Speech production is simply something we take for granted. However, most of the children we work with cannot master certain sounds independently, so they need a boost in correctly enunciating these sounds by speech language therapists.
Possible speech sound disorders that affect children include:
- Autism and other developmental disorders;
- Genetic syndromes, such as Down syndrome;
- Hearing loss (from ear infections or other causes); and,
- Brain damage caused by injuries or conditions like cerebral palsy.
What are the Most Common Speech Sound Disorders and Treatments?
Articulation Disorder – This affects children’s speech at the phonetic and motoric levels, which means they have trouble saying individual speech sounds, e.g., consonants and vowels. For example, when a child cannot produce the /l/ sound, when he or she should be able to produce it based on the chronological and linguistic ages, and does not show a systematic error pattern (see below for phonological disorder), one can then assume that it is an articulation disorder.
Phonological Disorder – This disorder occurs at the phonemic/linguistic/cognitive levels (a level higher than the phonetic/motoric aspects of speech production). Children with a phonological disorder show systematic patterns with their speech production errors, e.g. consistently delete /m/ in initial sounds, by saying “at” for “mat” or “ad” for “mad” for CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, when the age error is unexpected for the child’s chronological and linguistic ages.
Other symptoms of a speech disorder are dysarthria and apraxia, which are significantly more uncommon speech sound disorders than articulation and phonological disorders.
Despite being uncommon in children, many speech pathologists misdiagnose children’s speech production errors due to the lack of understanding between phonology, morphology/syntax, and speech production skills. Many speech pathologists focus only on the motoric aspects of speech production. This divide in the field of speech-language pathology is because there is variability in training at the Masters and Post-Masters Degree levels. Likewise, there is growing pressure placed on pediatric speech therapy, particularly private speech and language therapists near me, to use commercialized products that are not backed up by research. Many parents ask for these commercialized programs because they have been told to do so.
What Happens During Speech Therapy in Your NJ Home?
Private speech and language therapy usually begins with an assessment by an SLP who will identify the type of communication disorder and the best way to evaluate and treat it.
Speech Language Pathologist for children
For your child, speech therapy may be in a classroom, small group, or one-on-one, depending on the speech disorder. In addition, Speech therapy exercises and activities vary depending on your child’s condition, age, and needs. During speech therapy for kids, the SLP:
- Interacts through talking and playing, and using books, pictures other objects as part of language intervention to help stimulate language development
- Model correct sounds and syllables for a child during age-appropriate play to teach the child how to make certain sounds.
- Provide strategies and homework for the child and parent or caregiver for how to do speech therapy at home
Speech Therapy for Adults
Speech therapy exercises at home for adults also begin with assessments to determine your needs and the best treatment. Speech therapy exercises for adults can help you with speech, language, and cognitive communication.
Practises may involve:
- Problem solving, memory, and organization, and other activities geared at improving cognitive communication
- Conversational tactics to strengthen social communication
- Breathing workout for resonance
- Exercises to strengthen oral muscles
There are many resources available if you’re looking to try speech therapy exercises at home, including:
- Speech therapy Apps
- Language development games and toys, such as flip cards and flashcardS workbooks
For swallowing disorders, therapy may also include retraining of swallowing function due to an injury or medical condition.
How Do You Deal With Expressive Language Disorder?
Once a diagnosis is made, the SLP will conduct further analysis and observations before creating an individualized program. However, it is important to remember that therapy will not offer a permanent “cure” for the disorder. Instead, SLPs can equip children with strategies and techniques to help them manage their condition.
Therapy methods can vary, depending on the therapist and the child’s needs. Modeling target behavior is one technique where the speech language therapist models and reinforces aspects of speech that need to be targeted, such as sounds, vocabulary, and grammatical structure.
Some areas that SLP therapy includes:
- Enhancing phonological awareness
- Improving understanding and depth of vocabulary
- Understanding figurative language and ambiguities (words with multiple meanings, ambiguous sentence structures)
- Paraphrasing information and comprehension
- Using more advanced morphology (prefixes, suffixes)
- Formulating more complex sentence structures
- Judging and correcting grammar and morphological errors.
- Using language to convey politeness, persuasion, and clarification
- Increasing knowledge and skills on a discourse level
- Making contributions to discussions and repairing conversational breakdowns
- Learning what and what not to say and when and when not to talk
- Narrative intervention
- Looking at expository discourse across the grade levels
Last But Not The Least
Speech therapy service can treat a broad range of speech and language delays and disorders in children and adults. With the proper intervention, New Jersey speech language therapy can improve communication and boost self-confidence.
Schedule a free consultation for NJ speech language therapy today!