Techniques We Use

Speech therapists and staff at Pathways to Communication have training and experience working with the most current & up-to-date therapies available. Once it has been determined that speech and language therapy will benefit a child, there are many techniques that may be used, either individually or in combination with each other. Depending on your child's needs, you may be referred to a specific onsite therapist with expertise in that area. Frequently, we refer to other agencies; we do not believe any organization can meet the needs of all children. Finding the right fit for your child and your family is what is most important.


Listed below are some (but not all) of the therapeutic techniques we utilize as we work with your child.

Augmentative Communication Devices and Techniques

Augmentative and/or assisted communication devices are aimed at giving children a voice and a way to be heard and engage in conversations with others. As part of the evaluation process, our therapists will document the foundation of skills and needs of your child. We may then implement the use of high-tech and low-tech devices or strategies including the Dynavox, Tobi, iTouch & iPad applications. Other strategies and techniques include, but are not limited to, communication boards, paper and pencil techniques to draw pictures and schedules for your child, Picture Exchange Communication System, and social stories. Augmentative communication is a large field unto itself.

For state of the art devices, which may include using eye gaze to activate voice output messages, we refer to clinics and specialists to determine the right device for your child.

Floortime

A therapeutic approach which allows the clinician to follow the child’s lead (usually determined by their emotional interests, favorite activities, games, etc.), while targeting and facilitating the child’s ability to grow in social, emotional, communicative, and intellectual capacities. www.floortime.org

Hanen

The Hanen approach teaches parents and caregivers to take a primary role in helping their children with the development of their communication skills. Hanen can be effective with language delay, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger Sydrome and language and literacy development, particularly in early childhood. Our therapists support parents in learning techniques to encourage speech and language development throughout a child’s daily routine, in and out of the home. www.hanen.org

Integrated Listening Systems

The iLs program is a multi-sensory technique which is intended to strengthen existing pathways and create new neural connections in the brain. The exercises can have a wide range of effects on the brain, which can influence the body's systems such as balance, vision, hearing, motor skills, coordination and emotions. This technique is aimed at benefiting a variety of conditions including: sensory processing, speech and language, neuro-developmental difficulties as well as learning difficulties.

We have both the Pro System and Focus Systems onsite for use during therapy sessions and can be sampled in the clinic for free to determine if your child is a good candidate (systems can be rented or purchased here at the clinic.) We encourage parents to consult with other parents, watch free webinars and examine the research prior to starting this program as it requires a consistent time commitment at home. The iLs website provides a variety of information to assist parents in determining whether it is something they may want to explore for your child. This decision is always left to the parents and we are happy to discuss this option with you.

Darcy Kelley has taken the advanced training at iLs in Denver, allowing the clinic to use the Pro System onsite. www.integratedlistening.com

Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT)

A treatment approach designed to treat underlying neuromotor deficits as well as posture and movement disorders. www.ndta.org

PROMPT

PROMPT is the acronym for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (the motor actions which produce the sounds of speech.) It is widely used as a therapeutic technique for childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). It is a multidimensional approach combining both physical-sensory aspects of motor learning along with cognitive-linguistic and social emotional aspects. www.promptinstitute.com

Sign Language

Two or more of our staff members use American Sign Language at word, sentence and beginning conversational levels. All staff members know a core vocabulary. Sign language is used in early childhood as a bridge to verbal communication. It is also used in a multisensory/multimodality approach to treating language learning disorders and childhood aphasia of speech. Use of a visual sign can aid in memory and concept development which results in better word recall/retrieval of verbal speech and language.

Visual Language Support

Visual cueing systems which pair hand gestures and signs with motor speech movements to help your child pair the motor pattern needed for a speech sound with the visual cue. Visual cueing techniques are often used in concert with tactile kinesthetic cueing systems such as PROMPT. Visual cueing is especially helpful in children who are not ready or do not tolerate PROMPT (e.g., with some sensory disorders children feel pain and/or have significant tactile defensiveness). This may include medically fragile children and children with significant sensory system disorders. Many children can be desensitized to touch, however this requires a trained person to ensure that tactile defensiveness is decreased rather than increased.


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