Lauren Davisson | Language Therapy | Auditory Processing Therapy | Feeding Therapy
Lauren Davisson Speech Therapy offers assessments and language therapy services for children of all ages who may be struggling in one or many areas of learning and development.
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Services

We offer assessment and therapy services for children of all ages who may be struggling in one or many areas of learning and development. View our list of services below, and please feel free to contact us to find out more or click here to book an appointment.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy addresses speech delays that may be due to a number of possible causes.

Articulation Errors and Developmental Phonological Disorder

Articulation errors are considered motor-based errors. An articulation problem manifests as a difficulty in producing a single or a few sounds by substituting it with another sound, omitting the sound, adding a different sound, or distorting the sound.

 

Treatment to improve articulation of sounds includes demonstrating how to produce the sound correctly, learning to recognize which sounds are correct and incorrect, and practicing sounds in different words.

 

Children go through a normal process of learning to say their speech sounds, which is referred to as phonological processes.

 

A phonological disorder is a speech sound disorder that affects speech sound production. The child will have difficulty organizing their speech sounds into a system of sound patterns.

 

Phonological process treatment involves teaching the rules of speech to help them say words correctly.

Childhood Apraxia of speech

Childhood Apraxia of speech is present from birth, and it affects a child’s ability to form sounds and words. This happens, even though the child has the desire to speak and the mouth and tongue muscles are physically able to form words.

 

There are various treatment approaches available for apraxia, which may be developed to meet the individual’s needs. Therapy aims to improve speech coordination. The therapy exercises we perform to treat apraxia include:

 

  • repeatedly practicing the formation and pronunciation of sounds and words;
  • practicing stringing together sounds to make speech;
  • working with rhythms or melodies; and
  • using multisensory approaches, such as watching in a mirror while trying to form words or touching the face while talking.

Language Therapy

Language delay is when there is a significant delay in either receptive language skills (understanding language) or expressive language skills (using language).

 

We use a functional language approach, where language skills are addressed through application to functional communication settings. This assists in generalising language skills to every day settings. Through language therapy, we can address delays or disorders in the following areas:

 

  • listening skills: how your child is able to understand what is being said to her and follow directions;
  • grammar skills: your child’s ability to use grammatical markers to form complete sentences;
  • vocabulary skills: your child’s knowledge of what things are called and her ability to understand those words when spoken as well as to recall and say the word when needed;
  • question skills: your child’s ability to answer and ask questions with a variety of structures;
  • social language skills (pragmatics): your child’s ability to use language to interact with others and follow social rules of conversation and play; and
  • literacy/book skills: your child’s ability to read and write or use pre-reading skills such as book handling, recognizing print, etc.

Auditory Processing Therapy

Auditory processing disorder is a sensory processing disorder which influences listening, speech, language and learning and it might be present even though a child has normal hearing.

 

It refers to the brain’s interpretation of the information it receives from the ear. Auditory processing and hearing are two different things, just like listening and hearing are two different things.

 

Children with auditory processing disorder commonly present with some of the following symptoms:

 

  • difficulty paying attention;
  • poor listening skills;
  • trouble remembering spoken information;
  • not being able to carry out complex multi-step instructions;
  • delayed response when providing answers;
  • slow time to process information;
  • behavioural difficulties;
  • poor academic performance;
  • difficulty understanding and using language;
  • restricted pre-reading skills such as identifying sounds in words; and
  • poor reading and spelling skills.

 

The Auditory Processing Therapy we provide focuses on improving a child’s skills at distinguishing sounds, remembering sounds, and sequencing sounds. Therapy focuses on strengthening of auditory skills through practice and learning effective ways to compensate for difficulties and build on other strengths.

Language Learning Therapy

A language learning delay can affect a wide variety of communication and academic skills. These include listening, speaking, reading and writing. The development of fluent language skills is rooted in complex cognitive processes that include attention, auditory and visual perception and processing, memory, and executive function. Students who have difficulty in any of these areas may also have difficulty acquiring the language that is necessary for academics.

 

The goals of speech and language treatment for the child with a reading problem target the specific aspects of reading and writing that the student is missing. These may include; reading, spelling, phonics, phonological awareness and language support.

 

We also use intervention with spoken language (speaking and listening) to support the development of written language.

 

We consult and collaborate with teachers to develop the use of strategies and techniques that are appropriate in the classroom.

Feeding Therapy

Swallowing disorders can result from decreased function of the oral, pharyngeal or esophageal structures. Feeding disorders on the other hand, often occur concurrently or as the result of a swallowing disorder.

 

For example, a child who was fed via a feeding tube may be orally averse and therefore present with a feeding disorder.

 

The treatment we provide for swallowing disorders may include changing food or liquid consistencies, proper positioning, improving muscle strength, tone, and coordination, and teaching compensatory strategies. Treatment will focus on identifying the cause of the disorder, developing a plan to address both behavioural and physical components, and providing feeding strategies that can be used at home.

Special Needs Conditions

Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, genetic conditions and syndromes are lifelong developmental conditions that affect how a person communicates and relates to other people. They also affect how a person makes sense of the world around them.

 

Children with special needs or learning difficulties often face challenges with communication. There are many ways to help most children to communicate more effectively. Even children with profound difficulties have the potential to increase their levels of communication, allowing them to initiate, respond and make choices. Intervention is developed according to your child’s specific difficulties.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

The silence of speechlessness is never golden. We all need to communicate and connect with each other – not just in one way, but also in as many ways possible. It is a human need, a basic human right. And much more than this, it is a basic human power.” — Bob Williams.

 

AAC is a way to communicate without speech (alternative) or where speech is used together with another form of communication (augmentative). Any person whose daily communication needs are not met by speech or writing can benefit from AAC.

 

The purpose of AAC is to provide the person with a form of communication. This helps them to communicate their needs, wants and feelings. It may also positively influence their social skills, school performance, self-esteem, and generally improve their quality of life. AAC users should continue using speech if they are able to, as the system is used to enhance existing speech and only replace speech that is not yet developed.

 

Finding the right AAC system takes time and trial and error. The system may need to be modified as the person’s skills, needs, wants and context change.

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