At Snohomish Speech & Language, we provide a wide range of speech and language services, based on your child’s individual needs. Effective communication consists of many integrated components. We will meet your child where he/she is and address each step along the way to help your child communicate to the best of his/her ability.
We provide functional communication centered therapy services for children of all ages with difficulties ranging from mild delays to severe communication impairments and handicapping conditions.
When you contact us regarding your child's communication skills, we begin with a free telephone consultation to identify your specific concerns, collect some general information about your child's current communication skills, and answer any initial questions you may have. We will then schedule a time for you and your child to come to the clinic for a thorough evaluation of his/her communication. Our evaluations incorporate a variety of standardized and non-standardized assessment tools, as well as observation and parent interview, to identify a child's individual communication needs and develop the most appropriate plan. Each evaluation includes a detailed evaluation report with recommendations and goals for therapy if appropriate.
Speech and Language Therapy
We will develop a detailed therapy plan based on the results of our evaluation and your concerns. We are also happy to collaborate with other professionals involved in your child's care, if needed.
We strive to maximize each child’s communication potential and have fun! Therapy may include table-top activities, floor play or gross motor activities as appropriate.
Communication refers to our ability to engage, interact and relay messages back and forth with others. This exchange can take many forms, and may be verbal or non-verbal.
Early Social Interaction
We often see children who are just beginning their communicative development. The first step is learning to acknowledge and engage with others, and to initiate and respond. This could consist of eye gaze, non-verbal signals or gestures. We meet children where they are and build on their interests to develop these skills.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Some children use other tools to supplement their verbal communication. These tools can be short term, to bridge a gap and allow children to communicate their needs while verbal skills catch up, or long term, for children with conditions which prevent them from using verbal skills as their primary means of communication. If needed, we will work with you and your child to select the most appropriate and effective tools, which range from low-tech options such exchanging picture symbols to high-tech options such as voice output apps or devices.
Social skills refer to a person’s ability to use verbal and non-verbal skills to communicate effectively and in a socially appropriate way with others. These skills are numerous, but may include greetings and farewells, initiating and changing topics, maintaining a topic, adapting to the context and communication partner, appropriate eye contact and personal space. We help build social understanding, or recognition and comprehension of these skills, which can then be implemented with peers in social settings.
Language refers the words or symbols we use to communicate with each other, and again begins with early development and ranges to the highly complex. This includes comprehension, or auditory skills, as well as expression.
Development of first words is an exciting phase. We help children make the leap from non-verbal to verbal communication, develop functional early vocabulary, and expand to more complex phrases. Sometimes signs may be used as a bridge or supplement.
As children put words together, language quickly becomes more complex. We help them learn to use grammatical elements and sequence words logically to communicate effectively.
Narratives, Organization and Higher-level Skills
As children begin to tell stories and explain more complex thoughts, they must organize their language in a logical way. We help your child sequence ideas logically, describe accurately, explain concisely, include enough information so their listener can follow. We also help children learn to think and reason with language for tasks such as making inferences and solving problems.
Written language is communication too! We help children develop the auditory processing skills which form the foundation of literacy development, such as learning letter sounds, decoding, and later, comprehension.
Speech & Oral Motor Skills
Clear speech requires a complex set of movements of the lungs, jaw, lips and tongue.
Speech movements must be accurate and smoothly sequenced to create clear speech. We help children learn the placement and coordination to produce accurate speech sounds.
We help children who stutter learn the strategies and skills to speak more smoothly, comfortably and confidently.
Some children have differences in their oral structure which impact speech. We help identify those issues, make appropriate referrals, and develop a system that’s ready for speech.