We have long provided the community with premier speech-language pathology services. Our organization has led the way in offering effective, child-centered therapy. Today we have speech-language pathologists who are dedicated to serving children with a variety of disabilities such as cerebral palsy, hearing loss or specific learning disabilities. Children with speech-language delays and disorders are treated for articulation or language, stuttering and voice. We are also dedicated to assisting children with reading disorders. More than 225 children are scheduled for services weekly. Our center uses many different intervention programs, such as computer programs to enhance listening skills; computerized software for articulation and language development; and computer programs to assist in preparing unique communication systems for children with severe communication deficits. We deliver therapy on an individualized basis. Specialty programs include:
We also provide a training location for nearly a dozen students per year. Each year we offer a Summer Speech Camp that helps children who receive speech services at school but who lack services for the summer. We provide a group setting to help these children retain their speech-language skills so that when they return to school, they can perform reading, writing and language skills more successfully. Our Summer Speech Camp won the National Easter Seal Society Award for Excellence in Program Innovation.
Language disorders refer to problems in communication and related areas such as articulation, reading, writing and expressive skills. These delays and disorders range from simple sound substitutions to the inability to understand or use language or the oral-motor mechanism for functional speech and feeding. It is estimated that communication disorders affect one of every 10 people in the United States.
Speech disorders represent difficulties producing speech sounds, stuttering or voice. They might be characterized by an interruption in the flow or rhythm of speech, such as stuttering. They can be problems with the way sounds are formed, called articulation or phonological disorders, or they may be difficulties with the pitch, volume or quality of the voice.
It is easy to take the ability to speak for granted, but producing fluent speech without errors is actually a highly complicated process. When we speak, we must coordinate many muscles from various body parts and systems, including the larynx, the teeth, lips, tongue and mouth, and the respiratory system. Precise timing, nerve and muscle control are all involved.
Speech disorders carry the potential to isolate individuals from their social and educational surroundings. People who stutter often have others trying to finish their sentences for them. Some feel like people treat them as “slow.” While some speech and language patterns can be called “baby talk,” in many instances, if these problems are not addressed, they can contribute to significant academic and social stumbling blocks as that child matures.
The process in overcoming speech disorders begins with the child being referred to a speech-language pathologist (SLP), who will look at the type of problem, evaluate the child’s speech and, when appropriate, develop a treatment plan that meets the child’s needs. SLPs at Speech and Hearing of Northern Kentucky use observation and standardized assessment and testing materials to diagnose and treat speech disorders.