What is a Phonological Disorder/Delay?
Phonological deficits are characterized as errors in patterns of spoken sounds. A child’s sound errors can include patterns such as consonant cluster reduction (e.g., deleting the “s” from “star”), substitutions (e.g., substituting a “t” for the “c” in “cup”, pronouncing it “tup”), and syllable deletions (e.g., pronouncing “bubble” as “buh”). The child communicates; however, his/her speech is difficult to understand.
Frequently, these children with phonological disorders are not aware that they are making any speech errors. They are not hearing the speech sounds they are producing and recognizing the difference between their own speech and the speech of o
thers around them. Alternatively, speech sound deficits can be the result of oral-motor weakness or coordination problems (apraxia) where children are unable to move their mouths to shape their articulators to produce speech sounds accurately.
How Can We Help?
The specialists at Jodie K. Schuller & Associates are professional speech and language therapists, many with over 25 years of experience in communicative disorders. Licensed by the state of California as speech-language pathologists, our therapists have also completed advanced training in specific techniques to enhance oral and written communication. Therapists have been trained to help children with social challenges using Michele Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking Curriculum. To help those with delayed speech development, therapists have taken advanced training in the Talk Tools approach to oral motor therapy and the Cycles approach to phonology. Having attended the Childhood Apraxia (CASANA) Conference, therapists have been trained to use the Kaufman, Strand and Prompt methodologies, among others, to help those with apraxia of speech. Therapists have studied the various methodologies recommended to treat children on the autism spectrum including PECS and Floortime. They are equipped to help nonverbal children using American Sign Language (ASL) and Alternative and Augmentative (AAC) devices. To facilitate the development of reading and written language development, therapists have attended training programs from coast to coast including post-graduate courses offered by the Landmark School of Education, the Wilson Reading System (based on Orton Gillingham) and the complete range of programs developed by Lindamood Bell including LIPS, Visualizing and Verbalizing, On Cloud 9 Math and Seeing Stars. Therapists have also been certified by the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) to diagnose and treat breathing and swallowing problems related to unhealthy oral resting postures, sucking habits and tongue thrust.