Speech Treatment Programs
We offer a variety of programs, based on each child's individual needs. We offer treatment options in our office, or remote for those who prefer the convenience of their home.
Programs offered by PediaSpeech Services
Speech Pathologists are uniquely qualified as sound and language specialists to train written language skills. Our Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are trained using a combination of skills derived from Orton-Gillingham instruction, Beckman-Oral Motor protocol, Kaufman, cognitive retraining, and behavioral intervention.
We believe in a team approach to curing reading disorders. We believe in including child, parents, teachers, other therapists, and physicians. We go to many locations in the Atlanta area to help children where they need it most - in the academic setting.
SOS Approach to Feeding
The SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) feeding program, developed by Psychologist, Kay Toomey Ph.D, is a non-invasive developmental approach to feeding. It focuses on increasing a child's comfort level exploring and learning about the different properties of foods, including texture, smell, taste and consistency. The SOS approach allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way.
The SOS approach follows a hierarchy to feeding, beginning with the basic ability to tolerate food in the room, in front of him/her, touching and eventually tasting and eating foods.
Parent education and involvement is an important part of this feeding approach. A therapist works directly with the parents while they are watching each feeding session to learn this approach to feeding. Parents learn to identify physical signs and "body language" to identify when the child is over stimulated and to assist with setting up the home program.
For more about the SOS approach to feeding, please visit http://sosapproach-conferences.com
P.R.O.M.P.T. (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets)
is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to a patient’s articulators (jaw, tongue, lips) to guide them through targeted words, phrases or sentences. This helps patients develop motor control while eliminating unnecessary muscle movements (i.e., jaw sliding, inadequate lip rounding, etc.). Therapists use special hand cues (called prompts) to show patients the correct sequence of articulatory movements, and to help them achieve the correct sequence of movements independently.
For more information on P.R.O.M.P.T., please visit: http://promptinstitute.com
Debra Beckman-Oral Motor Protocol
is an assessment and treatment tool used to determine and treat oral motor delays and disorders. Beckman Oral Motor Intervention includes specific interventions that provide assisted movement to activate muscle movements and build oral strength. The focus of these interventions is to increase oral response to pressure and movement, range, strength, variety and control of movement of the lips, cheeks, jaw and tongue.
For more information on Beckman-Oral Motor, please visit: http://www.beckmanoralmotor.com
The Kaufman Speech Praxis Treatment Approach
is a proven method for teaching young children how to produce and combine the oral motor movements necessary to speak functionally. This treatment strategy was developed by Nancy Kaufman, M.A. CCC-SLP, who a leading expert in the treatment of children with developmental apraxia of speech. The Kaufman Method teaches sound approximations using a hierarchy. Children are taught word approximations first, in order to help reinforce their ability to increase motor coordination. Once the basic patterns have been mastered, more complex consonants and syllables are introduced.
For more information on the Kaufman Speech Praxis Treatment Approach, please visit: http://www.apraxia-kids.org/library/the-successive-approximation-method-of-therapy-for-children-with-apraxia-of-speech/
is an approach that can be used with patients who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing. This approach teaches the basics of word formation and utilizes the three learning modalities through which people learn—visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Vocabulary, sentence structure, writing and composition, and reading comprehension are all taught in a structured, sequential, and cumulative manner.
- Students begin by reading and writing letters/sounds in isolation
- These letters/sounds are then blended into syllables and words. (Consonants, digraphs, blends, and vowel teams are all introduced in a structured, sequential way)
- Students learn new material while also reviewing “old” material until their skills are automatic.
Please visit Orton-Gillingham approach for more information.
is a program designed to help patients who have difficulty with auditory processing speed, short term/working memory, sequencing, attention, language, reading and spelling. Fast ForWord is based on neuroscience research, which states that brains can be trained to “re-wire” as a result of experience and learning. The program finds the student’s processing level and then builds to the auditory processing efficiency required for reading. The program is intensive (5 days/week until completion) and is completed by utilizing interactive computer games. Reading and language skills strengthened by Fast ForWord include:
- Phonemic awareness
- Sound-letter association
- Grammatical structures
- Passage comprehension
- Reading fluency
For more information on Fast ForWord, please visit: http://www.scilearn.com/products/fast-forword
Tongue Thrust/Myofunctional Therapy
PediaSpeech's licensed Speech Pathologists are specially trained to help your children stop tongue thrusting. Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (i.e., "Tongue Thrust") is a disorder of the orofacial muscle complex which includes the mouth, tongue, lips, and facial musculature.
This disorder can :
- alter the shape of your mouth
- relate to feeding difficulties or aversions
- impede alignment of your dental bite
- impact developing speech patterns
How do we help?
- We provide a treatment plan in communication with your dentist or orthodontist which includes weekly exercises to be done at home.
- We teach the kids how to strengthen their oral muscles and stop the habitual posturing so they can eat, dring, and speak better.
Elimination of this disorder can assist in:
- developing proper dental occlusion
- providing stability for orthodontic treatment planning and correction
- developing healthy breathing patterns
- reducing the effects of certain speech disturbances such as "lisping" and difficulty with 'r'
Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs)/Tongue Ties
What are Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs)?
Tethered oral tissues (TOTs) are category of congenital conditions that include tongue ties, lip ties, or even buccal (cheek) ties. They are characterized by an unusually tight, thick, or shortened band of tissue (frena/frenum) that connects two structures of the mouth, limits range of motion, and results in functional limitations.
What are Tongue Ties?
A tongue tie, also called Ankyloglossia, is a type of tethered oral tissue where a thick, tight, or short band of tissue (lingual frenum) tethers the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth and restricts tongue movement. Infants, children, and adults with tongue ties will have functional limitations that may impact breast or bottle feeding, eating, swallowing, breathing, postural control, and/or speaking. There are two type of tongue ties:
- Anterior tongue ties: This type of tongue tie is relatively easy to see, as it is separated from the tongue itself. It is most obvious when raising the tongue to the roof of the mouth.
- Posterior tongue ties: This type of tongue tie is located within the tongue organ and is more difficult to see.
How can you identify TOTs?
TOTs may be difficult to directly and visually identify. It is also important to note that everyone has a lingual frenum. A tongue tie is diagnosed and treated based on the individual’s functional limitations rather than solely based on the tongue’s appearance. Common symptoms or functional limitations of TOTs are:
- Difficult or painful breastfeeding
- Difficulty transitioning to solids
- Picky eating
- Difficulty with articulation of speech
- Trouble with sleep
- Mouth breathing
- Acid reflux
- Tightness in the muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders
- Poor oral hygiene
- Separation or misalignment of the two middle (top and bottom) teeth
What causes TOTs?
These tissues are a result of an overgrowth of facia in the oral cavity that should have been broken down before birth. In some cases, the tissue (frenum) remains tightly attached, creating a “tethered” cord of tissue. The reason for this is largely unknown, although some cases have been linked to various genetic factors. It also often runs in families.
Treatment of TOTs:
The optimal treatment of TOTs involves two parts: the release of the TOT (a procedure called a frenectomy or frenuloplasty) by a knowledgeable provider, and oral motor, feeding, and/or body work therapy before and after the procedure to improve functional limitations. Ultimately, both are needed to optimize function.
If you think your child has a TOT:
Occupational therapists and speech therapists at PediaSpeech conduct an in-depth evaluation to help determine whether your child has functional limitations as a result of a TOT. If so, they will begin treatment and advise on next steps, including recommendations of preferred providers who can perform the procedure to release the TOT. After the release, the occupational and/or speech therapist will provide continuing post-care and therapy to improve function.
Go to IAOM.com for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Myofunctional Therapy.