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

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

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

5 Things to Expect During a Speech Evaluation

Akilah Porter, Marketing Coordinator | Posted on June 06, 2019

If you are having difficulty understanding your child, you might want to consider a speech-language evaluation. An evaluation is a normal step to pursue when parents or caregivers suspect difficulty with communication.

Ask your pediatrician for a referral to a speech-language pathologist (SLP) - a professional who diagnoses speech and language difficulties. An evaluation will include the following:

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Tags: Speech, Communication, Voice, toddler, talking

My Child Isn't Talking Yet - What Now?

Akilah Porter, Marketing Coordinator | Posted on June 06, 2019

Early in infancy, you will see signs that indicate that your child is hearing, listening, and understanding what is going on around him/her. Your child is learning language long before he/she produces that first word.

There is a typical progression to language development. Initially, your child will turn to find sounds, follow with his/her eyes when something moves in their view, look at what you are looking at (joint attention). All of these skills are part of language development. Later, your child will respond by pointing or may get your attention by touching you or vocalizing.

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

What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a language disorder resulting from an injury to the brain, such as stroke or head trauma. Aphasia involves varying degrees of communication difficulties in these areas:

Spoken Language Comprehension - otherwise known as “Receptive Language” or “Auditory Comprehension.”

Symptoms may include:

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Tags: Speech, Language, Communication, Support, Stroke, Brain Injury, talking

6 Ways to Use Your Eyes to Help You to Hear

Laura L. Brady, AuD, CCC-A | Posted on May 05, 2019

Everyone uses their vision to support their hearing. For example, if we see lightning, we know there will be thunder, or if we see something fall, we know it will make a sound. Even without sound, we can watch a football game and often “see” what an unhappy coach is saying to a player who fumbled the ball.

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Tags: Communication, Hearing, Hearing Loss, "ears"

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