Speech and Language Services

Milestones in Early Childhood*

Birth to 3 Months

  • Recognizes and quiets to parent voice
  • Startles to loud sounds
  • Laughs, gurgles, and coos

3 to 6 months

  • Awakens to sounds or speech
  • Turns towards interesting sounds
  • Makes a variety of sounds enjoys babbling

6 to 12 months

  • Understands first word such as “Da-Da,” and “Stop it,” “Go,” “Come”
  • Responds to his or her name
  • Enjoys sounds from rattles and similar boys
  • Coos to music and imitates speech

12 to 18 months

  • Says first word such as “Da-Da”, “Ma-Ma”, “Bye-Bye”
  • Identifies body parts and favorite toys by pointing to them
  • Responds to sounds coming from far away in all directions

18 to 24 months

  • Has a vocabulary of few words
  • Speaks 2-word phrases
  • Understand simple “yes” and “no” questions
  • Refers to self by name
  • Follows simple directions

24 to 3 years

  • Has vocabulary of many words by 3 Years
  • Speaks to communicate needs, wants and experiences
  • Speaks simple sentences
  • Recognizes different sounds
  • Understands most of what is said to him or her

Frequently Asked Topics

Speech Screening
At Audiopedics, LLC, we are skilled in screening and treating a range of speech disorders. Speech disorders can look a variety of different ways, but one thing is nearly the same no matter what type of concern there is: impaired communication can take its toll on one’s daily life. Whether your child is struggling to make friends at school or your spouse finds it difficult to excel in the workplace due to a speech disorder, the ways they affect us are as numerous as the types of conditions themselves.
Speech Sound Disorders: Articulation and Phonology
Often used as an overarching term, a speech sound disorder relates to a person’s inability to produce clear communication in verbal form. They are typically divided into two areas of study and treatment – articulation and phonology. A disorder that creates disruption in the way a patient forms their words, like a lisp, is termed an articulation issue. The phonology side of speech conditions relates to the inability to follow rules and patterns, therefore limiting a person’s ability to use words correctly.

A child or adult does not have to exhibit a specific symptom or set of concerns to be diagnosed with a speech sound disorder, yet they usually experience one of the following:

  • Adding extra sounds into a word
  • Omitting portions of a word
  • Errors in deleting or repeating syllables
  • Substituting one sound for another
  • Distorting certain sounds
  • Rhythm, intonation, or intensity irregularities

Experts have yet to discover the cause of speech sound disorders yet have deduced several risk factors that could potentially indicate a concern in young children, including ear, nose, and throat problems, excessive sucking of a pacifier or thumb, a lack of educational support at home, and reactive temperaments. Male children also tend to exhibit symptoms of a speech sound disorder more often than female children.

It is difficult to determine how many individuals are struggling with a speech sound disorder, as methods of assessing and diagnosing patients vary dramatically. In most cases, children are screened for any speech concerns by their primary care physician and may be referred to a speech therapist for a comprehensive assessment.

If you are concerned that you or your child might have a speech sound disorder, contact us for an appointment today.

Language Comprehension and Expression

Have you ever experienced a miscommunication with someone time after time only to become frustrated and ready to give up? For individuals with a language disorder, this can be their daily experience, making it difficult to connect with others, excel in school, or complete their job requirements.

Have you experienced miscommunication or difficulty expressing yourself? Children with language disorders and/or language comprehension most often have difficulty with:

  • Understanding people’s spoken language
  • Following directions
  • Pointing to pictures when asked
  • Answering questions

Children with language expression may have trouble expressing themselves in words, sentences, naming objects, present poor grammar, trouble initiating conversation and use language differently in various situations as needed.

At Audiopedics, LLC, we work with patients who exhibit a range of language disorders and utilize treatment plans that specifically address the challenges you face. From talking and reading to writing and understanding, our team knows firsthand how trying it can be to express yourself and function in day to day life. Let us offer guidance and support in a friendly and caring environment.

Language Processing Disorder

Professionals often relate a language processing disorder to an auditory processing disorder, but in fact an LPD affects patients differently and needs its own assessment and treatment plan in order to fully understand and help the individual. Thought to be linked to a neurological issue, an LPD affects the portion of the brain that understands and literally processes what a person hears. It can also have the same effect in creating challenges when trying to express oneself verbally.

Because individuals with language processing disorder often have trouble understanding information that is spoken, it is assumed by many that they have a hearing problem that is causing their symptoms. Rather, they can hear what is being said just fine in many instances, and instead cannot process the information. When a child lives each day with a language processing disorder, some of their behavior can look like the following:

  • Trouble paying attention in noisy environments
  • Difficulty with vocabulary and sentence structure when speaking
  • Unable to follow multi-step directions
  • Struggling to communicate verbally with peers and adults
  • Experiencing academic difficulties with reading, writing, and spelling

Like many of the other disorders we have discussed, a language processing disorder is best assessed by a speech therapist before a treatment plan is created. Our team will work with you or your child to improve their listening skills and can offer valuable information for at-home support.

Speech Language Therapy

Language Disorders
Often it can be difficult to know if your child is affected by a speech-language disorder, so at Audiopedics, LLC we offer a range of assessment practices to provide you with more information about your child’s skills and abilities. Speech language therapy addresses a range of problems not limited to developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration deficits, and articulation disorders.

Just like with many other types of healthcare, a routine screening offers a shorter period for addressing any concerns, while an evaluation gives us an in-depth look at areas of improvement.

What to Expect at a Screening

As a part of your child’s routine care, many times a pediatrician will perform a general screening to see if there are any symptoms associated with a speech-language disorder. Other times elementary schools will allow therapists to come in for brief visits with students to determine who might need further time and attention. Parents also have the option of bringing their child into our office directly for a screening appointment.

During a screening, we will spend about 10 to 15 minutes engaging with your child to determine their ability to communicate. Through conversation and play-based activities, we can get a good idea if your child is developmentally off track or if a deeper evaluation might be needed. A screening typically does not generate any formal reports or scores, but it does allow us to evaluate the language, speech, social skills, vocal quality, and fluency of your child.

The Evaluation Process

Many times, we perform a formal evaluation after obtaining a referral from your child’s physician. During this one-hour appointment, we will take the time to utilize assessment tools that will give us an in-depth look at your child’s communication skills. We will also accompany this evaluation with an intake process including a parent interview and a full history of your child’s symptoms.

After observing and working with your child, we will compile a formal report that details our findings and recommends a specific course of treatment. Depending on the specific diagnosis or skills that might need additional attention, the type of therapy we may use can vary. This report will also give you data that compares your child with others in their same age group, giving you even more insight into the goals we can look forward to accomplishing together.

Types of Therapy

A variety of techniques may be used for improving understanding and production of child’s spoken language including vocabulary, grammar, day-to-day use of language.

Since speech-language and voice disorders can vary dramatically, there are a wide range of therapy techniques we can draw from to ensure that you or your child finds success. The team at Audiopedics, LLC has over 12 years of experience working with children and adults and can utilize a variety of techniques during treatment. Some of the more common methods we use include:

  • Language Disorders: A wide range of disorders can be addressed through speech-language therapy, and we customize our treatment plans to ensure that each patient’s abilities and needs are taken into consideration.
  • Stuttering: We often find behavior modification of individual’s speech, use of compensatory strategies, practicing fluent speech, using slow rate of speech may help them speak more fluently.
  • Social-Cognitive: Focusing on skills that serve patients in real-world situations, social-cognitive therapy can help individuals who struggle with processing information. The goal with this type of treatment plan is to reduce the anxiety or fear that comes with communicating with others.
  • Articulation: Treatment may include demonstrating correct manner and placement of sounds, use of practice sounds/words/sentences, listening training and distinguishing correct sound production from error production.

If you are interested in learning more about the types of treatment we offer, contact our office today. Our goal is to make the speech therapy process as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

Swallowing Disorders

The function of swallowing is partially a voluntary process with some components happening without us having to think about it. When we eat or drink, our mouths work to break down any chunks of food and we prepare the items to move down our throat. Our tongue moves in a way to force the food to the back portion of our mouths, and when we swallow, the involuntary response of our throat kicks in.

Food and liquid passes through the pharynx, which connects the mouth and our esophagus. Then, it moves down through the esophagus into the stomach. Any abnormalities in these processes are referred to as dysphagia. Sometimes the issue is temporary, while in other cases the inability to swallow can be caused by a more serious condition.

Swallowing disorders often come with a very noticeable set of symptoms that can greatly interfere with one’s ability to eat or drink normally. Some signs of dysphagia might include:

  • A sensation of something lodged in the throat
  • Weight loss due to difficulty with eating
  • Coughing or choking easily while eating or drinking
  • Drooling
  • Voice changes
  • Discomfort in the chest or throat

In order to evaluate a swallowing problem and determine the cause, Dr. Nanjundiah will examine your mouth using a variety of techniques. Patients find that a variety of treatments are available to treat their dysphagia depending on the underlying cause. If you think you have swallowing problems, Dr. Nanjundiah will perform a dysphagia evaluation and offer potential treatments including vital stimulation/electrical stimulation. Many can resume normal swallowing function using medication, while others may opt for diet and lifestyle changes.