SCREENING

Speech and language development is a useful indicator in determining later school success. Early detection and intervention offers the most promising chances for improvement. If you are concerned about your child, a brief screening (20 mins) of sound production, language comprehension and expressive communication can be completed in office to determine if a detailed evaluation is necessary. A screening is not a substitution for a comprehensive evaluation, but may help to determine if an evaluation is necessary.

Preschool Directors can sign up here for on-site group screenings of 3 year olds and up.

EVALUATION

A comprehensive evaluation (30-90 mins) is very important for those with a suspected communication disorder. Testing will compare the client’s skills to others of the same age (via norm and/or criterion-referenced tests). Specific areas of assessment are based on screening results and/or expressed concerns.

If an evaluation has been completed within the last 6 months or your child has an up to date Individualized Education Plan (IEP), information from these documents can be used to develop a Plan of Care with Atlanta Speech Therapy.  In such cases, the need for additional standardized assessments may not be necessary.

TREATMENT

Therapy is guided by your individual needs and areas of weakness. Our services are provided in office. Therapy is usually scheduled for two visits per week for a 3-6 month period. Consistent attendance is important to demonstrate progress.

Disorders treated include, but are not limited to:
Most children make some mistakes as they learn to say new words. A speech sound disorder occurs when mistakes continue past a certain age. Every sound has a different range of ages when the child should make the sound correctly. Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation (making sounds) and phonological processes (sound patterns).
Someone with either of these disorders have trouble understanding spoken and written language (receptive language disorders) or trouble using language to communicate their ideas and questions (expressive language disorders). Some individuals have trouble both understanding and using language.
Someone with a motor speech disorder have problems coordinating the muscle movements needed to produce speech.
A fluency disorder is when the natural flow of speech is affected. Someone with a fluency disorder may stutter or stammer when they speak. It is common for children to stutter or stammer for a period of time as part of normal speech development. However, children who have trouble for six months or longer need support and should see a speech and language pathologist.
Cognitive-communication disorders involve problems with ones thinking processes that affect communication, such attention span, memory, reasoning and problem-solving.
Autism is a developmental disability. People with autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder or ASD, have social, communication and language problems. They also have restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, such as flipping objects, echolalia, or excessive smelling or touching of objects. Autism may be mild or severe. All children with autism don’t have the exact same problems.
Selective mutism (formerly known as elective mutism) usually happens during childhood. A child with selective mutism does not speak in certain situations, like at school, but speaks at other times, like at home or with friends. Selective mutism often starts before a child is 5 years old. It is usually first noticed when the child starts school.
Some problems with speech and language go hand in hand with problems eating or swallowing. We provide swallowing evaluations when there are concerns regarding the ability to eat or drink safely.
Language-based learning disabilities are problems with age-appropriate reading, spelling, and/or writing. This disorder is not about how smart a person is. Most people diagnosed with learning disabilities have average to superior intelligence.

SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES

We have considerable experience working in the public school setting, with routine participation on Individualized Education (IEP) and Eligibility teams of students with special needs. We are able to mentor parents regarding the process and provide input after reviewing your child’s IEP. This is offered complimentary to all current clients.