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Speech and Language
Speech & Language Services at The Foundation are provided by Master's Level therapists licensed by the Louisiana Board of Examiners for Speech/Language Pathology. Therapists also have Certificates in Clinical Competency through the American Speech/Language/Hearing Association (ASHA).
Speech/Language Evaluations for Children & Adults:
With children, evaluations provide the means by which a parent can determine whether language development in a child is significantly delayed and, if so, what the best methods are to address the delay. With adults, a precipitating incident, like a stroke, often leads to the need for evaluation. Depending on the concerns of the client, an evaluation may assess voice quality, rhythm, articulation, and/or the degree to which language is understood and used.
Individual Speech/Language Therapy for Children & Adults:
Therapists provide one-on-one speech/language therapy if an evaluation indicates that the specific goals of a child or an adult are most likely to be met through that means. In addition to the Roosevelt Street and Denham Springs sites, individual therapy can occur in a variety of settings such as day care centers, schools or other community agencies. In programs such as Early Steps, Louisiana's Early Intervention Program, individual therapy is paired with parent training and provided in the home to children under the age of three who have developmental delays.
Speech Therapy for Children with Hearing Loss:
Children who are deaf or hearing impaired face serious challenges in speech and language development. The Foundation offers specialized therapy to increase children's abilities to communicate using spoken English, sign language or cued speech. Therapists can provide assistance in learning to use hearing aids and other assistive listening devices to gain maximum benefit. In addition, clients and their families learn how to control environmental barriers to communication for hearing impaired children.
Group Language Therapy for Preschool Children:
Since speech/language is so closely tied to social interaction, the best results for language-delayed children often occur in group settings. Therapists design language activities to meet the specific delays exhibited by each child in the group. Those activities are integrated into a normal preschool routine. The nine groups offered at The Foundation vary in length and frequency based on the age, language skills and social skills of each child. Group language therapy is available for children as young as eighteen months.
Group Levels and Descriptions:
Children in the “Follow Me” groups may not be using any words yet, or they may use a few words inconsistently. They often depend on non-verbal communication such as gestures, pointing, reaching, actions, or facial expression. They may use sounds or strings of sounds that sound almost like speech (jargon), or they may not produce any sounds at all. Children at this level often need help following simple directions. They may be very “busy” and active, with limited ability to sit and attend.
ON MY WAY
Children in the “On My Way” groups are beginning to use more words (or signs) to communicate. Their vocabulary is growing, and they may begin to combine 2 or 3 words together in phrases or short sentences. Children at this level can usually follow simple directions in context, can follow a routine, and can sit and attend to stories and songs for short periods.
READY, SET, GO!
Children placed in the “Ready, Set, Go!” groups are typically using 3-4 word (or longer) phrases and sentences to communicate. They can understand and answer simple questions and follow simple verbal directions. They may need help forming longer, varied, or more complex sentences, using pronouns, saying specific sounds, asking questions, or using language with peers.
FULL SPEED AHEAD
Children placed in the “Full Speed Ahead” groups are able to communicate verbally but may need help with higher-level language skills, such as complex sentence formation, continued vocabulary acquisition, categorization, sequencing, or expression of abstract ideas. They can attend for longer periods and are gradually able to follow more complex directions. They may benefit from early literacy work, for example, increasing phonological awareness and sound-letter associations, or learning to make predictions and inferences during stories. They may also need assistance with social skills and peer interactions.