Communication Matters

What is Selective Mutism and How is it Treated?

Michelle Kurfiss M.A. CCC-SLP | Posted on January 01, 2020

Selective mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s lack of verbal communication in select social environments, such as school. Children with selective mutism possess the ability to speak, but are selective of the settings in which they choose to speak. They will often speak in environments where they feel safe, relaxed, and calm with familiar people such as parents or siblings, but will choose not to speak in environments where they are less comfortable. A common misconception is that selective mutism is a form of autism. Children with selective mutism may demonstrate lack of appropriate social language use that mimics those on the autism spectrum, but selective mutism is not indicative of autism.

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Tags: Speech, Language, Communication, Stuttering, Learning, Voice, talking

What is the Difference Between Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate?

Michelle Kurfiss M.A. CCC-SLP | Posted on January 01, 2020

A cleft is any opening in a normally closed structure. A cleft lip is an opening in the lip, typically the upper lip. These clefts are more commonly unilateral (on one side of the lip) as compared to bilateral (on both sides of the lip). Unilateral clefts occur more frequently on the left side of the mouth. A cleft palate is an opening on the roof of the mouth. Clefts can be found in the hard palate (towards the front of the mouth), soft palate (more towards the back of the mouth) or both.

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Tags: Speech, Language, Communication, Voice, talking, Cleft Lip, Cleft palate

Barotrauma: Ear Pain During Airplane Flights

Laura L. Brady, AuD, CCC-A | Posted on December 12, 2019

Barotrauma is the term used to describe the discomfort or injury caused by increased air pressure during airplane flights (or increased water pressure when scuba diving).

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Tags: Audiology, Hearing, Hearing Loss Prevention, "ears", Ear Pain, Ear Anatomy

8 Ways to Encourage a Loved One to Have A Hearing Test

Laura L. Brady, AuD, CCC-A | Posted on September 09, 2019

Hearing loss generally happens gradually over a long period of time. Often, the subtle, and not so subtle, signs of hearing difficulty are more apparent to significant partners than it is to the person with the hearing loss. 

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Tags: Hearing Aid, Hearing Aids, Hearing, Support, Caregiving, Hearing Loss, "ears"

Speech Therapy for Children: School vs. Private

Kellie Vaughan, M.A., CCC-SLP | Posted on September 09, 2019

Parents often wonder what they can do to help their child improve their speech and language skills. Many families seek additional private speech therapy to supplement school-based treatment.

While added speech therapy may be an advantage, it depends on the unique needs of your child. School-based speech therapy and private speech therapy differ in many ways. Before determining if your child would benefit from additional speech and language therapy, it is essential to know the difference between the two.

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Tags: Speech, Language, Communication, Teens, Stuttering, Voice, toddler, talking

Signs and Symptoms of Concussion in Children

A concussion is a mild form of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth.

It is a common opinion that concussions happen mostly to football players. However, they can also occur while playing other contact sports such as soccer, as a result of a vehicular accident, or during a fall.

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Tags: Teens, Support, Brain Injury, toddler

What Is Dysarthria?

Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder caused by damage to the central or peripheral nervous system – or sometimes both – as the result of a stroke or brain injury. People with dysarthria may have trouble with respiration (breathing), phonation (voicing), articulation (speech), prosody (patterns of stress and intonation) and resonance (e.g., nasality).

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Tags: Speech, Communication, Stroke, talking

Opti-Speech: A Game-Changer in Speech Therapy

Jennell Vick, Ph.D., CCC-SLP | Posted on July 07, 2019

Let's face it, sometimes we give it our all and just don't see the results we desire. When you or your child has been working forever on a sound like "r" or "s" and the progress isn't happening, the results can be disappointing. I get it-- having one little speech sound error hang around comes with a whole host of problems. Whether it is jokes at your expense, anxiety meeting new people, or even bullying, you would do anything to make a change.

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Tags: Speech, Communication, Teens, Voice, talking

Communication Skills for Children with Angelman Syndrome

Chana Feinstein, M.A., CCC-SLP | Posted on July 07, 2019

Angelman syndrome is a rare neurogenetic disorder that occurs in about 1 out of every 15,000 people. Most people with Angelman have very limited speech, or no speech at all. If you’re the parent of a young child with Angelman, you may be wondering how you can help your child learn to communicate, since speech is not going to be their main way of communicating. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

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Tags: Speech, Language, Communication, Voice, toddler, talking

Tips for Safely Cleaning Your Child's Ears

Akilah Porter, Marketing Coordinator | Posted on July 07, 2019

Good ear hygiene is often associated with the presence of earwax, commonly known as cerumen. Wax may not be visually pleasing, but it is beneficial to your health. This substance is naturally produced in the ear canal and acts as a protective lubricate against external objects such as dust, dirt, and insects.

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Tags: Hearing, Teens, Caregiving, Hearing Loss, toddler, "ears"

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