Speech Therapy, Missoula
Speech-language pathologists serve individuals, families, and groups with varying diagnoses and communication needs. Integrated TherapyWorks offers a functional approach to treatment and has three highly qualified speech-language pathologists to meet your needs. We provide individualized speech, language, and social communication services to adults and children including diagnostic and therapy services in clinic, home, or community-based settings. Services are provided based on applying the best available research evidence, using expert clinical judgments, and considering clients’ individual needs. This may include direct instruction, structured play therapy, group treatment, and instructional training to help you reach patient and family centered goals and have fun simultaneously! We encourage early intervention, as research indicates response to therapy at an early age, as well timely intervention following an accident or injury may greatly impact development and progress with both adults and children.
Services provided in the following areas:
Children who are demonstrating difficulties with sound production may have either an articulation disorder or phonological processing disorder. An articulation disorder involves problems making sounds. Sounds can be substituted, left off, added or changed. These errors may make it hard for people to understand the child. Articulation therapy focuses on the motor aspects of speech production and the clarity of speech sound production. Articulation therapy involves behavioral techniques, focused on teaching children new sounds in place of error-sounds or omitted sounds, one at a time, and then gradually introducing them (new sounds that is) into longer and longer utterances, and eventually into normal conversational speech. A phonological processing disorder involves patterns of sound errors. For example, substituting all sounds made in the back of the mouth like “k” and “g” for those in the front of the mouth like “dl” and “t” (e.g., saying “tat” for “cat”)
Oral motor exercises may be necessary for weak articulators or muscles in the mouth and face to improve speech production. These muscles sometimes need strengthening, need to move farther and/or have better coordination. Increasing strength and range of motion of oral muscles can help increase intelligibility and articulation, as well as improve eating/feeding/swallowing problems.
A language disorder may be either expressive, receptive, or a combination of expressive and receptive.
- Expressive Language Disorder:
Occurs when an individual demonstrates difficulty with verbal expression. They may exhibit word retrieval difficulties, have limited vocabulary usage, present with difficulty producing longer sentences or phrases, or have difficulty using proper grammar. Higher level language deficits may involve difficulties with coherence and cohesion of communication.
- Receptive Language:
Occurs when an individual demonstrates difficulties in the ability to attend to, process, comprehend, retain, or integrate spoken/written language. For example, he/she may have difficulty following directions, answering questions, have delayed responses to questions, or may appear not to attend to spoken language.
Phonemics awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words; involves blending, segmenting and/or deleting sounds.
- Pre-reading Skills/Letter-Sound Recognition:
The ability to hear, identify and manipulate the individual sounds in words is a “pre-reading” skill that provides children with the ability to become aware that sounds are actually building blocks that can be used to construct words. This therapy encourages children to become aware of the many sounds in their language.
An individual with an auditory processing disorder presents with difficulty in processing the information they hear due to a lack of coordination between sound processing and the way the brain perceives the information. An individual with APD often does not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even when the sounds are clear enough to be heard.
An executive function disorder describes difficulties associated with goal setting, carrying out organized steps and modifying a plan to complete a task successfully. These skills are important for learning from past experiences and applying the knowledge in new experiences. Attention, memory, impulse control, organization, planning, and hierarchical thinking are all part of what are known as executive functioning skills.
EARLY INTERVENTION: SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DELAY
Research has shown that the time between birth and 36 months is an extremely critical period of development. These months offer a window of opportunity that will not be available later on in life. Early intervention allows us to both identify and treat very young children in an effort to minimize any potential speech and language deficits.
A stuttering disorder can be described has having non-fluent speech. Characteristics of non-fluent speech include repetition of sounds, syllables and phrases. Prolongations or stretching of syllables may occur, as well as blocks, or tense pauses. Physical behaviors or reactions may also co-exist with the stuttering episodes.
APRAXIA OF SPEECH/MOTOR SPEECH DISORDERS
Apraxia of speech, also known as verbal apraxia or dyspraxia, is a speech disorder in which a child has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently. It is a motor speech disorder which a child presents with difficulty coordinating the planning of language production with the oral muscle movments needed for speech. It is not due to weakness or paralysis of the speech muscles, but rather voluntary coordination. The severity of apraxia of speech can range from mild to severe.
Pragmatics is the area of language function that embraces the use of language in social contexts. Individuals with pragmatic difficulties have trouble using language socially in ways that are appropriate or typical of. This may include excessive interrupting, irrelevant topics, difficulty with turn-taking or joint attention, and difficulty reading social cues.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. As this is a spectrum disorder, the degree of impairment can range from mild to severe.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We provide evaluation, treatment, and facilitation of obtaining appropriate equipment for augmentative/alternative communication needs.
Michael Crews, M.A., CCC-SLP
A Matter of Communication, Inc.
Melissa Voller, M.S., CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech Therapy Solutions
Margaret Gainer, M.S., CCC-SLP