Pediatric Services

Coastal Speech Therapy, Inc. offers comprehensive pediatric services for toddlers, school-aged children, and adolescents with disorders, delays, or difficulties in the following areas:

Early Intervention Therapy:

The intervention approaches that we typically implement for children between the ages of 0-3 truly depends on the child’s initial diagnosis, attention, cognition, learning modality, and severity. With language delayed children, we implement Greenspan Floor time therapy, Preschoolers Acquiring Language Skills (PALS), thematic lessons, functional signing paired with oral language, and Kauffman Apraxia photos, should there be any motor planning delays.  Depending on the child’s interests and personal
motivators, we incorporate music, pediatric yoga, early nursery rhymes, music and motion, and art.

Articulation and Oral Motor Disorders (Including Dyspraxia of Speech and
Dysarthria):

Our oral motor and articulation therapies address a child’s ability to correctly pronounce
standard English speech sounds.  The term Oral Motor refers specifically to the muscular IMG_2277 (2)movement of the mouth.  In many cases, the etiology of a child’s articulation issues may be the results of weakened and uncoordinated movements of the lips, tongue and jaw.  Oral Motor and Articulation therapies often include physical exercises to strengthen the muscles used in speech and speech drills to improve clarity. Coastal Speech Therapy, Inc. believes in family centered therapy and the importance of building rapport and trust with the child and each family member.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders:

Autism and its less severe associated diagnosis (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) are disorders of brain function that appear early in life, generally before the age of three. Children with autism have issues with social interaction, communication, imagination and behavior. Autistic traits persist into adulthood, but vary in severity.  With more severe cases of Autism, and those children who are nonverbal, we are able to incorporate AAC devices and/or signing along with oral language.

Asperger’s Syndrome:

For those children on the Autism Spectrum who are higher functioning, we incorporate principles of Theory of Mind, including: flexibility, perspective taking, problem solving, IMG_4011problem prevention, self-awareness, impulse control, frustration tolerance, emotional regulation, social stories, social filter, social fake, reading nonverbal body language, and understanding the intentions of others.  Our therapy focuses on functional, pragmatic, real life problems that children are facing with peers and adults.  Through role playing, videotaping, creating personalized social stories, and video feedback, true modification of a behavior can occur with efficiency and effectiveness utilizing best practices.

Executive Functioning Disorder:

Some children have difficulty with Executive Functioning Skills.  They may have difficulty making plans, managing their time, keeping track of one thing at a time, multitasking, IMG_4101[1]evaluating ideas, reflecting on ideas, being flexible, asking for help, knowing when it’s time to seek for more information, engaging in group dynamics, socializing, or waiting to talk.  Children with executive functioning delays have difficulty figuring out what they want to do by having a creative idea, planning, initiating, organizing, sequencing, executing, terminating, and timing a task.  These children may physically isolate themselves because they cannot initiate play.

Reading Disorders:

Instruction in reading and spelling using a modified multi-sensory LiPS (Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program for reading and spelling) method authored by Lindamood-IMG_6666Bell Learning Processes as it develops and utilizes phonemic awareness to teach decoding and spelling skills to develop reading fluency.  Modifications in this programs are made when necessary to accommodate a student’s specialized needs to maximum achievement while minimizing frustration.  Instruction in auditory and reading comprehension, basic concepts, and vocabulary is targeted by utilizing a modified Visualization/Verbalization® (V/V) program authored by Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes® is indicated.  The student is directly instructed so to develop concept imagery in the visualization/verbalization technique.  Concept imagery is essential for comprehension of information received through the auditory and visual modalities.  The student is directly  instructed how to describe the information he receives when listening to or reading passages of increasing length and complexity.   He/she is then taught how to visualize and talk about the received information in a detailed, organized and sequential manner.  Additionally, the student is asked factual, sequence, cause and effect, prediction and inferential questions about information heard or read.  This program also lays a foundation for future instruction in writing.

Myofunctional and Tongue Thrust Disorders:

Children with tongue thrusts often display a lisping speech pattern as well.  However, DSCF0019mispronouncing the letter /s/ is not the only consequence of a tongue thrust. Tongue
thrusts play a major role in the dental mis-alignment that leads to orthodontic care.  Because of this, we frequently work with Orthodontists to determine effective schedules to address these issues through both clinical approaches. For example, the remediation of a lisp may be recommended prior to the application of orthodontic braces. However, in situations where palate expansion is also necessary, speech therapy might be delayed until after a palate expander is inserted for a period of time.

Voice and Fluency (Stuttering) Disorders:

Stuttering or stammering is a speech disorder in which the flow of a person’s speech is
disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases; and/or involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the speaker is unable to produce sounds.  Many young children display developmental dysfluencies.  These issues can be frustrating for parents, but are not necessarily indicative of a true stuttering issue and don’t necessarily warrant immediate intervention.  The key is to determine whether the dysfluencies are typical or atypical.

Feeding/Swallowing:

Because the muscles that are used for speaking are the same ones used for eating, a IMG_4051[1]
speech-language pathologist is recognized as the most appropriate medical professional to address feeding issues.  These issues can include newborns and infants struggling with nursing, toddlers having difficulty transitioning to or past purees or soft chewable foods, or older children who, on the surface, seem to be picky eaters, but who may in fact have muscle weakness that manifests itself in food aversions.  Excessive drooling or difficulty in orally manipulating solids and liquids are other examples of issues addressed in feeding therapy.  We also specialize in dysphasia (swallowing) therapy associated with Cerebral Palsy, aphasia, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and genetic abnormalities.

Receptive and Expressive Language Disorders:

A person’s language skills break down into three separate, though overlapping areas;
receptive language, expressive language and pragmatic (or social) language. Receptive IMG_0948 (1)language skills can be described as one’s ability to take in and comprehend language that is presented textually, orally or visually. When a child has difficulties in this area it might manifest itself in the following ways: difficulty following directions; limited vocabulary; an inability to process information in environments with competing stimuli; difficulty in identifying and understanding salient information and main ideas. Expressive language skills might similarly be defined as one’s ability to access and utilize information that has been received. Deficits in this area often are indicated by poor word retrieval, disorganization of thoughts (either verbal or written), limited vocabulary and grammar. With parent permission, we utilize our certified therapy dog, “Buddy” to help facilitate functional language and alleviate separation anxiety from parents.

Social Skills Therapy:

Pragmatic language skills take these two areas one step further, requiring a person to IMG_3984[1]
employ these skill sets when interacting with peers. Examples of this are reading social
cues, taking other people’s perspectives or taking conversational turns. It is not unusual for both children and adults to have proficient receptive and expressive skills, and still have difficulties employing those skills with other people.  Pragmatic language therapy is most often conducted in a group setting. Once a deficit in one of these areas has been identified, language therapy can teach strategies to improve performance and rebuild or open up new neural pathways.

Auditory Processing Difficulties:

Auditory Processing Disorders are a specialized subset of receptive language issues.  When IMG_3954[1]an auditory processing component exists, it means that, when placed in an environment that includes competing auditory stimulation (i.e., classroom) a child has difficulty distinguishing subtle differences in the presented information, even though the hearing is normal.  The child may have difficulty storing, memorizing, retrieving, recalling, and retelling auditory information especially when visual cues are not provided.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing:

American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that employs signs made by moving the hands combined with facial expressions and postures of the body. It is the IMG_2567primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and is one of several communication options used by people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.  Parents are often the source of a child’s early acquisition of language, but for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, Speech and Language Pathologists may be models for language acquisition. A deaf child born to parents who are deaf and who already use ASL will begin to acquire ASL as naturally as a hearing child picks up spoken language from hearing parents. However, for a deaf child with hearing parents who have no prior experience with ASL, language may be acquired differently.  Hearing parents who choose to learn sign language often learn it along with their child.  The earlier any child is exposed to and begins to acquire language, the better that child’s communication skills will become. Research suggests that the first few years of life are the most crucial to a child’s development of language skills, and even the early months of life can be important for establishing successful communication.

Selective Mutism/Social Anxiety:

Selective Mutism is a childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to IMG_0448speak in select social settings due to feelings of fear and anxiety.  The child is able to speak in settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed.  It is usually first noticed when the child starts school, however, prognosis is better if diagnosed prior to starting school. Children who suffer from Selective Mutism speak effortlessly in at least one setting and are rarely mute in all settings.  Their “mutism” is a means of avoiding the anxious feelings elicited by others’ expectations and the possibility of being judged.  The majority of children with Selective Mutism are as socially appropriate as any other child when in a comfortable environment. Parents will often comment how boisterous, social, funny, inquisitive, and extremely verbal they are at home. Some children with Selective Mutism feel as though they are on stage every minute of the day, which causes anxiety before and during most social events. Chronic physical symptoms such as stomach or head aches can occur throughout the day, due to pervasive feelings of anxiety.