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Pediatric Services | Speech

Speech Sound Disorders, Oromyofunctional Disorders, and Voice Disorders

Speech Sound Disorders

There are two main categories of functional speech sound disorders: articulation disorders and phonological disorders. Schedule your free consultation with us and see below for additional details on how your child could benefit from speech therapy.

An articulation disorder includes any substitution, addition, omission, or distortion when producing specific speech sounds. The affected speech sounds are typically consonants. A common example is a tongue thrust or lisp for the “s” and “z” sounds (please see “orofacial myofunctional disorders” below for expansion on potential concomitant issues with tongue thrust).

A phonological disorder includes predictable errors or patterns of errors that often impact more than one sound. For example, a child always produces “t” for “k” (dut for duck or tow for cow). Phonological disorders are often linked to issues with language, so children with phonological disorders can be at risk for issues when developing literacy skills.

Treatment for Speech Sound Disorders

Although some speech sound disorders follow rule-based patterns, each child’s individual acuity for acquiring new motor patterns is different. This is why we use a multi-sensory approach, where we capitalize upon your child’s strengths, utilizing the mandibular, labiofacial and lingual muscles, auditory or sensory feedback, or visual modeling. These approaches allow us to guide your child through the cues and support that work best for their unique system. We first focus on shaping the sounds in isolation and then work on moving up the hierarchy to syllables, single words, and ultimately all the way up to generalizing this new sound within conversational speech. We will also develop home programs that work for your family’s lifestyle and are unique to your child’s needs for practice at home because modifying speech sounds and motor patterns requires…and say it with me: lots of p r a c t i c e !  

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs)

OMDs affect how the muscles in the face and mouth have developed to interfere with swallowing, talking/saying speech sounds correctly, and breathing through the nose. Children who exhibit some or many of the following signs may have an OMD:

  • Mouth breathing/difficulty breathing through the nose

  • Tongue thrusting (tongue pushing past the teeth during the swallow and/or speech sounds, such as “s,” “z,” “sh,” or “j”)

  • Tongue pushing against the teeth or between the teeth at rest

  • Difficulty eating or messy eating

  • Drooling, especially after age 2

  • Thumb sucking, sucking on shirts/mouthing other objects

  • Misalignment of teeth (e.g., overbite, underbite, overjet, crossbite, open bite)

  • Difficulty closing the lips to chew and swallow

  • Limited tongue movement and/or tongue tie

It is vital to seek treatment if some or many of the above signs are present, as speech errors and functional issues will persist if the underlying structural or functional issues are not resolved, which often includes consultations with other professionals. Furthermore, children with OMDs may also suffer from poor sleep, attention issues, poor academic performance, and recurring issues with orthodontia. We have established relationships with dentists, orthodontists, ENTs and other providers with which we work in concurrence to address your child’s unique needs. 

Treatment for OMDs can help your child: 

  • Enhance awareness to their mouth and facial movements

  • Identify tongue position and mouth muscle movements when speaking, drinking, and eating

  • Adjust their chewing, swallowing, and breathing patterns

  • Understand the importance of adapting appropriate functional movements 

  • Feel empowered by their speech and breathing patterns

It is our goal at Cascada Resilient Therapy to help each child know and understand their strengths while learning functional strategies to overcome the “rocks” and obstacles in their way. The way we address your child holistically will help them thrive in every aspect of their life to become the most resilient communicators and individuals they can be!

Voice Disorders

Does your child constantly sound hoarse or appear to lose their voice frequently? Do they sound congested all the time or constantly nasal? If so, your child may have a voice disorder. It is best practice that all of our clients with voice concerns first see an otolaryngologist ("ear, nose, and throat" or "ENT" doctor) in order to diagnose or rule out structural or functional abnormalities in a child’s system. 
Need a recommendation for an excellent ENT? Cascada Resilient Therapy has had built relationships with ENT offices around Austin and has had great success working in concurrence with them throughout the course of treatment. Contact us for a referral!
After consultation, we will work with your child to help eliminate voice issues or develop functional strategies unique to your child’s needs to provide your child with the most suitable vocal care and quality that work for them and allow them to feel confident and comfortable. We strive to create resilient communicators who use their voice to empower themselves and others!

Does your child sound like they might be stuttering? Click here to learn more about fluency and how we can help your child.

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