Frequently Asked Questions
Pediatric speech therapy and feeding therapy is the focus of our practice. Our Parental Resource Center FAQ’s are intended to help parents understand the treatment options available for their child to enable them to reach their full potential.
It is the therapeutic treatment of speech, language & communication delays, and disorders, including related difficulties such as feeding disorders. Therapy can help prevent, diagnose and rehabilitate a child’s developmental issues. The purpose is to help a child develop effective communication and life skills
Speech, language & feeding treatment is the most beneficial when it begins in preschool. Difficulties can persist & may affect a child’s progress through high school.
We provide home-based, school-based and clinic-based therapy. The setting for our evaluations must be appropriate for the child to be able to be properly evaluated.
You call us for a Free Phone Consultation or complete the Contact Us form on our website. Once we agree upon the therapy services that will be the most beneficial for your child, we will provide you with the appropriate forms and releases documents.
Each child’s development is unique. As a frame of reference, you can review our Developmental Milestone information compared to your child’s development. If you are concerned that your child may have a developmental delay or disorder, please contact us for a Free Phone Consultation or complete our on-line Contact Us form.
Signs of autism might be isolated or appear with symptoms of other disorders. Some signs of Autism Spectrum disorder may include:
- Lacks full ability to get the attention of parents and others.
- Limited use of pointing to encourage someone to look at what they see.
- Limited attempt to get attention by showing toys or objects.
- Limited eye contact with parents and others.
- Behavior includes repetitive patterns of activities.
- Indifference or appearance of aloofness toward other people.
- Doesn’t use language as a tool for conveying information.
- Finds enjoyment in small aspects of things, such as part of a toy and not the whole toy.
- Increased sensitivity to sound and fascination with visual stimuli.
- Lack of pleasure from gentle touch but enjoyment of firm pressure.
- Greater use taste and smell versus hearing and vision.
- Poor coordination such as clumsiness and posture.
- Highly active or under active.
- Unusual mood swings, such as excitement and sadness.
- Unusual eating, drinking and sleeping habits.
We can provide more detailed information on signs and therapy for Autism Spectrum
We provide therapy for children who are toddlers to adolescences. If you are concerned about your child’s speech-language communication skills or feeding habits, you can call us for a Free Phone Consultation or complete our on-line Contact Us form to determine if your child would benefit from therapy.
Your role in your child’s therapy is very important. Therapy research shows that even a little parental involvement results in better outcomes when compared to only the therapist’s involvement.
Your role in your child’s therapy can include:
- Explaining your concerns about your child’s developmental progress.
- Working with the therapist in developing therapy goals.
- Being engaged in therapy sessions, where appropriate.
- Asking your therapist questions or concerns about the therapy.
- Providing feedback on your child’s progress at home and in school.
- Supporting your child on home practice and learning skills.
We can’t underestimate the benefit of your involvement with your child’s therapy.
Our speech-language evaluations are performed by Jeanine Roddy, M.A., CCC-SLP. The purpose is to gain insight into your child’s speech, language and communication skills. The result of the evaluation will be a variety of scores and assessment information. This information is used to determine if a child has a delay or disorder that could benefit from therapy.
These communication and behavioral evaluations may also reveal autistic spectrum characteristics or related disorders. The report that we generate provides information that may be helpful to your child’s teachers and pediatrician as well as recommendations for therapeutic intervention.
Our evaluations include tests of a child’s language comprehension, expressive language, articulation, and receptive & expressive vocabulary skills. Certain other tests may include an oral-motor examination, language samples and structural play interactions.
An evaluation of your child can be the basis for recommending a personalized therapy plan which can include:
- Social language and social interaction skills treatment plan
- In-home activities that may help in achieving therapy goals
- Linguistic speech, oral-motor and other communication therapy goals
Other therapy goals may be indicated, depending on your child’s assessment.
Our evaluations usually last approximately 2 hours during 1 session. Each evaluation is personalized based on the child’s individualized needs.
We provide a comprehensive report which includes your child’s developmental performance from the evaluation. It includes performance scores and a summary of your child’s strengths and weaknesses as well as our impressions, therapy recommendations, and suggested treatment goals, which you can share with your child’s teachers and pediatrician.
The assessment report that we provide to you can be reviewed other therapists as well as with your child’s teachers and pediatrician.
Generally, we do not need to repeat the evaluation, unless there has been a significant change in your child’s situation.
Here are some of the benefits for your child:
- Easier to understand at home and in school.
- Less frustrating interaction with parents, teachers, and friends.
- Increased self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Better communication at school can result in better learning.
- Improved social relationships.
Early invention treatment can increase the effectiveness of therapy.
Children progress at different rates as they learn to talk. Our Development Milestones can be helpful for comparing your child’s progress to that a typical speech development pattern. A professional evaluation and assessment of your child’s developmental status can be useful in determining if a therapy program would benefit your child, and if so, what type of treatment would be the most beneficial.
The following are some common pediatric speech language disorders:
- Speech sound disorders – difficulty pronouncing sounds.
- Language disorders – difficulty understanding what they hear & expressing themselves with words.
- Cognitive communication disorders – difficulty with thinking skills including perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect and imagination.
- Stuttering (fluency) disorders – interruption of the flow of speech that may include hesitations, repetitions, prolongations of sounds or words.
- Voice disorders – the quality of voice that may include hoarseness, nasality, volume (too loud or soft).
We can provide more detailed information on specific speech language disorders.
Depending on your child’s condition, it may be difficult to determine why your child won’t eat. There are a number of factors that could affect your child’s eating habits. For example, a child may have a medical condition that resulted in eating being difficult. Once the medical condition is resolved, our feeding therapy can help a child overcome unhealthy eating habits.
Feeding and swallowing issues that can benefit from therapy:
- Oral Phase – sucking, chewing, and moving food or liquid into the throat
- Pharyngeal Phase – starting of the swallowing reflex, squeezing food down the throat, and closing off the airway to prevent choking.
- Esophageal phase – squeezing food through the esophagus into the stomach
If your child exhibits feeding difficulties, it would be helpful to evaluate your child to determine the severity of the difficulty and whether feeding therapy may be beneficial.
Symptoms of feeding disorders might include:
- Refusal to eat certain foods
- Preferences for foods by taste, textures and/or brand
- Not being able to safely handle foods
Serious symptoms could include difficulty controlling food in the mouth, inability to control food or saliva in the mouth, difficulty initiating a swallow, coughing, choking, frequent pneumonia, unexplained weight loss, gurgling after swallowing, and a sensation of food being stuck in their throat.
In addition to the challenges maintaining a healthy balance diet, children with untreated feeding disorders can be at risk of pulmonary aspiration and subsequent aspiration pneumonia from food or liquids “going down the wrong way” and into their lungs.
A behavioral approach to feeding therapy breaks down your child’s eating process into elements that we can evaluate, such as mouth opening, swallowing, etc. Then, we work with your child to learn new healthy eating behaviors. The physiological approach explores possible physical or medical conditions that might be affecting your child’s eating. Sometimes both approaches are necessary.
As a child matures, it is possible that they can overcome their feeding problem without therapy. However, that could depend on how severe is their feeding problem, and whether your child’s feeding problem is affecting their overall development and health.
We are credentialed and work with most major health insurers. Prior to submitting a claim, it is important that you understand the coverage of your health insurance plan. Benefits can vary widely from one health plan to another. Speech, language and feeding therapy may or may not be covered by your insurance plan. So, it is important that you check directly with your insurance company to determine what therapy coverage is provided under your plan.
We will provide you with an invoice for therapy that you can submit to your insurance company. Our invoices contain information on the therapy diagnosis, treatment codes, session times, fees paid and a description of services provided as well as information on our practice, ie, tax ID number, license number, etc.
Our evaluations and assessments are highly individualized. The fees are based on the type of evaluation of your child. After consultation with you, we will provide you with a fixed fee for the evaluation and assessment. Our professional reports on your child can be reviewed with your child’s teachers and pediatrician.
Typically, our therapy sessions last for 30 minutes. The frequency of these sessions depends on the child’s needs and their parents’ schedule. Sessions 2 to 4 times per month are common.
The length of an individual therapy program depends on the type of difficulty or disorder being treated, and the child’s rate of progress during the therapy sessions as well as the level of reinforcement at home and in school.
We accommodate busy parents by offering weekday and some evening sessions.