Therapy sessions are held in whatever setting is most appropriate for the child – whether that be at home, school, daycare, child development center or community setting. Voz Speech Therapy specializes in working with children with autism spectrum disorders, orofacial myofunctional disorders, oral-motor disorders, tongue/lip ties, expressive/receptive language disorders, learning disabilities, fluency (stuttering) disorders, social language impairments, articulation disorders and hearing loss/Cochlear Implant patients. All therapy sessions are 50 minutes in length with 5-10 minutes at the end to discuss activities done in the session, child’s current level of progress and strategies that can be carried over in the home or school for maximum success. Frequency of sessions per week is determined based on severity and areas of difficulty the child presents with. A brief overview of each session can be generated in print or via e-mail for all caregivers involved upon request.
A screening is completed by the therapist to determine if a comprehensive evaluation is needed. Screenings are quick and informal, usually consisting of questions based on your concerns in the areas of speech, language, oral-motor and social development. A screening also takes into consideration data from the child’s teachers and healthcare providers to determine if a comprehensive evaluation is needed.
If your child has already had a comprehensive speech and language evaluation completed within the past 6 months, a consultation via phone or in person can determine need for therapy services. Additionally, formal and informal testing without a written report can be completed to determine if Voz Speech Therapy is the right fit for you and your child.
If your child has difficulty pronouncing certain sounds – making his or her speech hard to understand – an articulation evaluation will be administered to determine error sounds and current level of intelligibility. If your child has minimal words, short sentences and difficulty following instructions or understanding what others are saying, a comprehensive receptive/expressive language evaluation will be administered. Both evaluations may be administered based on the recommendation of the clinician. A written report of all informal and formal assessments, as well as recommendations for services, will be given to the caregiver.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy / Tethered Oral Tissues Specialty Training
Orofacial Myofunctional therapy is designed to correct oral muscle function as it relates to dental problems and speech disorders, using exercises for the tongue, lips, and facial muscles. It is most often used to alter a tongue thrust swallowing pattern, assists with improved outcomes in orthodontia, and can help open mouth breathers become nasal breathers. Using the Simon Says Tongue Tips therapy protocol, and a detailed home practice program, correction of tongue thrust can be completed in approximately 12 weeks (more, if substantial speech sound errors co-exist). Ana-Maria also helps children who continue to suck their thumbs to eliminate this habit using the Simon Says Thumbs Up! program. In addition, the Tethered Oral Tissues Specialty Training allows Ana-Maria to evaluate for the presence and impact that tethered oral tissues have on oral function by including evaluation protocols, proper oral exam and written report.