Expertise

Pediatric Services

Beyond Speech provides high quality evaluations and evidence based interventions for children with speech and/or language delays or disorders. Family members play a key role in our team-based approach and are involved every step of the way. Working hand-in-hand with families, our clinicians make sure each child gets the support and state-of-the-art services they need to succeed.

Beyond Speech therapists have a range of experiences, including but not limited to working with:

  • Developmental Delays: The term refers to a slower than expected rate of language and/or cognitive development although the milestones achieved are in the anticipated sequence.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Is characterized by persistent difficulties in the social use of verbal and non verbal communication. Those deficits result in functional limitations in effective communication, social participation and development of social relationships, academic achievements, or occupational performance individually or in combination.
  • Social Communication Disorder (SCD): SCD encompasses problems with social interaction, social understanding and pragmatics without entailing the additional defining characteristics of restricted and/or repetitive behavior and narrow interests that ASD has.
  • Language Disorders: Language disorders or language impairments are disorders that involve the processing of linguistic information. Problems can be detected in one or more than one aspect of language such as syntax, morphology, semantics and pragmatics. These problems may be receptive (involving impaired language comprehension), expressive (involving language production), or a combination of both. Examples include, among others, specific language impairment and aphasia. Language disorders can affect both spoken and written language.
  • Speech Disorders: Speech disorders refer to the difficulty of producing speech sounds correctly or fluently, or when someone experiences problems with his or her voice. Difficulties pronouncing sounds (often referred to as an articulation disorder), and stuttering are examples of speech disorders.
  • Articulation Disorder: An articulation disorder involves difficulties producing sounds. Sounds can be substituted, left off, added or changed. Most children make some mistakes as they learn to say new words. An articulation disorder results when misarticulations continue past a certain age.
  • Phonological Disorder: A phonological disorder involves patterns of sound errors. For example, substituting all sounds made in the back of the mouth like "k" and "g" for those in the front of the mouth like "t" and "d" (e.g., saying "tup" for "cup" or "das" for "gas"). While it is common for young children learning speech to use these phonological processes, they are not expected as a child grows older.
  • Speech and Language Disorders that co-exist with a genetic syndrome (i.e. Down Syndrome, Prader Willi Syndrome, XXYY Syndrome)
  • Speech and language disorders that co-exist with a neurological diagnosis (i.e. epilepsy, cerebral palsy or are acquired after a brain surgery or a traumatic brain injury)
  • Auditory Processing Disorder (APD): In a broadest sense APD refers to the how the central nervous system uses the auditory information while the hearing ability of the person is intact. APD is an auditory deficit that is not the result of other higher-order cognitive, language, or related disorder. Children with APD may exhibit a variety of listening and related complaints such as difficulty in understanding speech in noisy environments, following directions, and discriminating (or telling the difference between) similar-sounding speech sounds. Sometimes they may behave as if a hearing loss is present, often asking for repetition or clarification. In school, children with APD may have difficulty with spelling, reading, and understanding information presented verbally in the classroom. 
  • Hearing Loss and Cochlear Implants: Hearing loss in children is correlated with developmental delays in receptive and expressive communication skills, as well as learning difficulties that could be associated with poor academic performance.
  • Learning Disorders/Learning Disabilities: Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.  They can also interfere with higher level cognitive skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory and attention.
  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS): The term refers to a motor speech disorder where children have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words due to brain incapability to plan the movement of the articulators (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The CAS is therefore not a result of muscle weakness or paralysis. The individual knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words.
  • Dysarthria of speech: Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder resulting from impaired movement of the muscles used for speech production, including the lips, tongue, vocal folds, and/or diaphragm. The type and severity of dysarthria depends on which area of the nervous system is affected. A person with dysarthria may demonstrate characteristics such as "slurred" or "mumbled" speech that may be difficult to understand, slow rate of speech, rapid rate of speech with a "mumbling" quality, limited tongue, lip, and jaw movement, abnormal pitch and rhythm when speaking and/or changes in voice quality, such as hoarse or breathy voice or speech that sounds "nasal" or "stuffy".
  • Feeding and/or swallowing disorders: Feeding disorders include difficulties gathering food and getting ready to suck, chew, or swallow it. A feeding disorder in infancy or early childhood might result in a child's refusal to eat certain food groups, textures, solids or liquids for a period of at least one month, which causes the child not to gain enough weight, grow naturally, or cause developmental delays. A swallowing disorder, also called dysphagia refers to the difficulty or discomfort of swallowing and/or moving food and liquid from the mouth to the stomach due to a neurological condition.

Adult Services

At Beyond Speech our speech and language therapy team assesses, diagnoses, and provides appropriate evidence based intervention and recommendations for adults with speech, language, communication and/or swallowing difficulties resulting from acquired neurological or long term conditions, including stroke and other conditions such as cancer.

We agree joint goals with our clients, involving family and carers when appropriate.

Beyond Speech therapists have a range of experiences, including but not limited to working with:

  • Acquired Apraxia of Speech (AAS): AAS is a speech motor processing disorder in which the messages from the brain to the articulators are disrupted. As a result the person cannot move his or her lips or tongue in a targeted way to produce sounds correctly, even though the muscles are not weak.
  • Dysarthria of Speech: Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder. It results from impaired movement of the muscles used for speech production, including the lips, tongue, vocal folds, and/or diaphragm. The type and severity of dysarthria depends on which area of the nervous system is affected. A person with dysarthria may demonstrate characteristics such as "slurred" or "mumbled" speech that may be difficult to understand, slow rate of speech, rapid rate of speech with a "mumbling" quality, limited tongue, lip, and jaw movement, abnormal pitch and rhythm when speaking and/ or changes in voice quality, such as hoarse or breathy voice or speech that sounds "nasal" or "stuffy".
  • Aphasia: Aphasia is a communication disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that are responsible for language (typically in the left side of the brain). Individuals who experience damage to the right side of the brain may have additional difficulties beyond speech and language issues. Aphasia may cause difficulties in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
  • Dementia: Dementia is a broad term referring to a decline in mental ability (e.g. memory loss, thinking and social abilities) severe enough to interfere with daily functioning. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of a progressive dementia in older adults, but there are a number of different types of dementia.
  • Brain Neoplasms: A variety of language and swallowing difficulties can be caused due to a brain tumor or possibly by treatments such as surgery, radiation or medication.
  • Stroke: A stroke can cause problems with communicating if there is damage to the parts of the brain responsible for language. Common conditions that result after a stroke are aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria and/or other cognitive difficulties, and possibly dysphagia.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (ΤΒΙ): ΤΒΙ is a form of brain injury caused by sudden damage to the brain. Alongside other consequences a person may experience language and/or cognitive difficulties that might result to communication problems, swallowing difficulties and behavioral issues such as difficulties in executive functioning. These problems can significantly impair the individual’s ability to live independently.
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