Heart 4 Kids Therapy Where Passionate Hearts Are Dedicated To Help Your Child Succeed, Services
Heart 4 Kids Therapy, Pediatric Speech Therapy



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Heart 4 Kids Therapy provides a variety of speech, language, feeding, occupational and physical therapy services, targeting the following:


• Apraxia of Speech


A disorder of motor planning in the absence of impaired muscle


control that affects voluntary positioning and sequencing of muscle


movements for speech.



• Auditory Processing Disorders


Deficits in the information processing of audible signals not attributed


to impaired peripheral hearing sensitivity or intellectual impairment.


Specifically, Central Auditory Processing Disorder refers to limitations


in the ongoing transmission, analysis, organization, transformation,


elaboration, storage, retrieval, and use of information contained in


audible signals. Auditory Processing Disorders can negatively impact


a child’s ability to attend to, discriminate, restore, organize, retrieve,


and use information.



• Augmentative/Alternative



Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) includes all forms


of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express


thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas.


People with severe speech or language problems rely on AAC to


supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional.


Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication


boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express





• Autism Spectrum Disorders


Autism is a developmental disability. Children with autism, also known


as Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD, have social, communication and


language problems. They also have restricted and repetitive patterns


of behavior, interests, or activities, such as flipping objects, echolalia,


or excessive smelling or touching of objects. Autism may be mild or


severe. All children with autism don't have the exact same problems.




• Down Syndrome


Down Syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra


copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the


course of development and can cause the following characteristics


associated with Down Syndrome: increased risk for certain medical


conditions, low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to


the eyes, a single deep crease across the center of the palm, and


cognitive delays.




• Dysphagia


A swallowing disorder. The signs and symptoms of dysphagia may


involve the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and/or esophagus.



• Expressive and Receptive

  Language Disorders


When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive


language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely


(expressive language), then he or she has a language disorder.




• Feeding and Oral Motor Delays and



Delayed or disordered placement of food in the mouth; difficulty


in food manipulation prior to initiation of the swallow, including


mastication; and the oral stage of the swallow when the bolus is


propelled backward by the tongue. In pediatrics, this term may be


used to describe a failure to develop or demonstrate developmentally


appropriate eating and drinking skills. Disorder may be further


complicated by oral motor deficits (insufficiencies or weakness with


movement and coordination of the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw)


warranting need for oral motor therapy in conjunction with feeding






• Fluency Disorders (Stuttering)


Fluency disorder is a “speech disorder” characterized by deviations in


continuity, smoothness, rhythm, and/or effort with which phonologic,


lexical, morphologic, and/or syntactic language units are spoken.



• Hearing Impairments


Hearing Impairment is a term used to mean a deviation or change for the


worse in either auditory structure or auditory function, usually outside


the range of normal.




• Learning Disabilities and Literacy



Language-based learning disabilities are problems with age-


appropriate reading, spelling, and/or writing. This disorder is not


about how smart a person is. Most people diagnosed with learning


disabilities have average to superior intelligence.



• Neurological Impairments and Disorders


Any impairment or disorder originating in the body nervous system.


Structural, biochemical or electrical abnormalities in the brain, spinal


cord or other nerves can result in a range of symptoms. Examples


of symptoms include paralysis, muscle weakness, poor coordination,


loss of sensation, seizures, confusion, pain and altered levels of


consciousness. Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Stroke are


some examples of disorders that are neurological in nature.



• Pragmatic/Social Language Disorders


A disorder that involves the use of language (greeting informing,


demanding, promising, and requesting), changing language according


to speaker or environment, and following conversational rules (turn


taking, introducing topics, staying on topic, rephrasing, use of verbal


and nonverbal signals, proximity of closeness, and use of facial


expressions and eye contact).


If problems in social language use occur often and seem inappropriate


considering the child's age, a pragmatic disorder may exist. Pragmatic


disorders often coexist with other language problems such as


vocabulary development or grammar. Pragmatic problems can lower


social acceptance. Peers may avoid having conversations with an


individual with a pragmatic disorder.


It is important to note that social rules can vary across cultures and


within cultures.



• Speech Sound Disorders


Most children make some mistakes as they learn to say new words. A


speech sound disorder occurs when mistakes continue past a certain


age. Every sound has a different range of ages when the child should


make the sound correctly. Speech sound disorders include problems


with articulation (making sounds) and phonological processes (sound patterns).


An articulation disorder involves problems making sounds. Sounds can


be substituted, left off, added or changed. These errors may make it


hard for people to understand you.


A phonological process 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").



• Velopharyngeal Dysfunction


Velopharyngeal Dysfunction (VPD) can be caused by a history of cleft


palate, or by other factors. Types of VPD are based on the underlying


causes and include the following:


Velopharyngeal Insufficiency (history of cleft palate or submucous


cleft, short velum or deep pharynx, irregular adenoids, enlarged


tonsils, or complications after surgery)


Velopharyngeal Incompetence (poor muscle function due to history


of cleft or submucous cleft, pharyngeal hypotonia, velar paralysis or


paresis, neuromuscular disorders, etc.)


Velopharyngeal Mislearning (abnormal articulation of certain sounds


causing nasal air emission, conversion disorder, and/or hearing loss).



• Voice Disorders/Vocal Fold Dysfunction


Voice disorders are characterized by the abnormal production and/or


absences of vocal quality, loudness, resonance, pitch, and/or duration,


which is inappropriate for a child’s age and/or sex.


It is important to note that in the case of pathology (e.g., vocal


nodules, carcinoma) voice therapy cannot and will not be conducted


unless the child has been adequately referred and diagnosed by an


Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor.





Specialized Treatment Programs




• Beckman Oral Motor Therapy



This skilled approach to oral motor therapy was developed


by Debra Beckman for individuals with impaired oral


motor skills that are not able to follow a command


for oral movement. Beckman worked to develop


specific interventions in order to provide movement to


activate muscle contraction and to provide movement


against resistance to build strength. The focus of these


interventions is to increase functional response to pressure


and movement, range, strength, variety and control of


movement for the lips, cheeks, jaw and tongue.




• Behavioral Modification Approach to Feeding



This evidence-based approach aims at increasing


appropriate actions or behaviors, including increasing


compliance, and reducing maladaptive behaviors.


Behavioral interventions include such techniques as


shaping, prompting, modeling, stimulus fading, antecedent


manipulation, alternate behavior, and differential


reinforcement, as well as implementation of basic


mealtime principles (e.g., scheduled mealtimes in a neutral


atmosphere with no food rewards). Evidence indicates that


behavioral interventions were "associated with significant


improvements in feeding behavior" (Sharp, Jaquess,


Morton, & Herzinger, 2010).




• Language Acquisition through

  Motor Planning



Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) is


a therapeutic approach based on neurological and motor


learning principles. The goal is to give individuals who


are nonverbal or have limited verbal abilities a method of


independently and spontaneously expressing themselves


in any setting. LAMP focuses on increasing independent


access to vocabulary on voice output AAC devices with the


use of consistent motor plans for accessing vocabulary.


Teaching of vocabulary happens across environments, with


multisensory input to enhance meaning, with the child's


interests and desires determining the vocabulary to be taught.




• Hodson’s Cycles Approach for Remediation

  of Phonological Processes



This specific approach can be used for children who exhibit


severe phonological disorders and limited intelligibility


(“understandability”). The Cycles Approach addresses a


child’s use of phonological processes by cyclically targeting


affected sound classes. A different process is targeted


every 1-2 weeks and 2-4 processes are targeted within a


cycle. Processes that remain problematic are addressed


in later cycles by recycling patterns and targets until the


client becomes intelligible. Each individual session includes


both a perception and a production component and a home


program is sometimes implemented. The Cycles Approach


aims at eliminating a few specific sound errors in order to


cause a change in the underlying phonological process and,


therefore, be generalized to all phonemes affected by that





• Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering



An evidence-based practice behavioral treatment program


for children younger than six years of age; however, there


is research reports that it may be efficacious for school-age


children. During treatments, parents (or guardians) present


the treatment to the child in everyday environments. The


cornerstone of treatment is weekly visits between the


parent, child and clinician, who facilitates, supervises, and


tracks progress during the course of the therapy program.




• Literacy Speaks!



A systematic program that utilizes evidence-based


techniques that improves children’s speech intelligibility


and language skills while developing a strong literacy


foundation. Children in preschool through early elementary


school, children with special needs, English language


learners, economically disadvantaged students and children


with communication disorders are all appropriate candidates


for Literacy Speaks!




• Picture Exchange Communication System



Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a unique


augmentative/alternative communication intervention


package consisting of six phases for individuals with Autism


Spectrum Disorder and/or related developmental disabilities.


Functional verbal operants are systematically taught using


prompting and reinforcement strategies that will lead to


independent communication. Some learners using PECS


may develop speech while others may transition to a voice


output system.




• Pivotal Response Treatment



A play-based and child-initiated behavioral treatment for


autism with objects for development of communication,


language, and positive social behaviors while decreasing


disruptive self-stimulatory behaviors. Focus is on specific


areas of a child’s development, including motivation,


response to multiple cues, self-management, and the


initiation of social interactions.



• Sequential Oral Sensory Approach

  to Feeding


Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S) Approach to Feeding

program integrates sensory, motor, oral, behavioral/learning,

medical and nutritional factors and approaches


in order to comprehensively evaluate and manage children


with feeding/growth problems. It is based on, and grounded


philosophically in, the “normal” developmental steps, stages


and skills of feeding found in typically developing children.


The treatment component of the program utilizes these


typical developmental steps towards feeding to create a


systematic desensitization hierarchy of skills/behaviors


necessary for children to progress with eating various









PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic


Targets) is a multidimensional approach to speech


production disorders that utilizes well-known physical-


sensory, cognitive-linguistic, and social-emotional aspects


of motor performance. PROMPT is about integrating all


domains and systems towards positive communication


outcomes. It may be used (with varying intensity and focus)


with all speech production disorders from approximately 6


months of age onward.









VitalStim® Therapy System is a safe and effective


treatment for patients suffering with difficulty swallowing or


dysphagia. It is a non-invasive, external electrical


stimulation therapy cleared to market by the Food and Drug


Administration for the treatment of dysphagia with


application on the anterior neck. VitalStim® Therapy is


backed by comprehensive clinical data and is designed to be


used in conjunction with swallowing exercises. VitalStim® has


been found to:


-Be safe and effective for patients


-Accelerate the recovery time from a restricted diet


-Help patients achieve sustained improvement and long


term results. Heart 4 Kids Therapy will be offering this


service starting May 1st, 2015.



Evaluation and Treatment Services



• Screenings


A screening is an informal observation


to help determine if a more comprehensive evaluation


is necessary. Screenings typically last 15 minutes and


involve an observation and/or a brief parent interview


with recommendations. There are no written reports


following a screening. Screenings can be scheduled


individually, for mother’s day out programs, or for any


childcare or daycare facilities.



• Consultation


A consultation is a review of your


child’s previous reports, a brief parent interview, an


informal observation of your child, a discussion of


any concerns or questions a parent may have, and/


or coordination with other disciplines, schools or


facilities at the parent request. There are no reports


provided with a consultative appointment and fees


are charged by the hour, however, fees may be pro-


rated as needed. Please contact our clinic for further






• Speech and Language Evaluation



A speech and language evaluation is a review of previous records,


patient history, formalized testing (for approximately


one to two hours), administration of informal measures


(including language sample as necessary), and a


written report with scoring, interpretation, additional


analyses, and recommendations. Recommendations


may incorporate a treatment plan and home program.


Review of the report with parent is also included.


An evaluation may extend to two separate sessions


depending on the nature of the difficulties for your






• Feeding Evaluation


A feeding evaluation will incorporate a review of previous


records, patient history, formalized testing (for approximately one to


two hours), and a written report with interpretation


of observation, results, additional analyses, and


recommendations. Recommendations may incorporate


a treatment plan and home program. Review of the


report with parent is also included. During a feeding


evaluation, further speech and language assessment


may be recommended if determined necessary.





• Functional Treatment Plans


If therapy is recommended based on a previously completed


evaluation or consultation, a treatment plan will be


generated that will include long-term and short term


goals for therapy. At Heart for Kids Therapy, each


therapist works with the family to develop functional


goals to increase a child’s communicative ability using


individualized evidence-based methods and strategies.


Home programs (homework) will be utilized as the


treatment plan progresses to assist in increasing skills


and generalizing skills to other environments and


targets. These are typically provided at the end of the





It should be noted that a treatment plan cannot be


generated after a screening based on the limited


amount of information gathered at that time.




• Individual Therapy


At Heart 4 Kids Therapy, a therapist will meet with your child


a specified number of times a week based on recommendations for 30-45


minutes to implement their treatment plan. Therapists


will consult with you after each session to report


progress during the session, describe any challenges


encountered and provide suggestions (as part of their


home program and family education). Caregivers are


encouraged to ask questions and/or watch sessions so


that they can remain partners in fulfilling their child’s


communicative goals.




• Group Language Therapy


Heart 4 Kids Therapy has two, 4-week language-based


group programs (two times a week) that may be offered seasonally


based on availability. The purpose of either program


is to facilitate receptive and expressive language


development, as well as pragmatic language use


between peers. The first program is for younger


children (2-3 years of age) and can assist in


preparation for pre-school. The second program is


for children 4 years of age and incorporates activities


aimed at increasing early literacy skills related to


phonemic and phonological awareness.




• SLP-Led Preschool Social Skills Group



The preschool social skills group focuses on developing


and nurturing cooperative play skills. Language is


elicited through play by creating natural opportunities


for social interactions. The children are engaged in a


variety of adult and child directed activities in order


to help develop and refine gross, fine motor, and


communicative development. This group is appropriate


for children who need help developing basic skills


needed to actively participate in a preschool setting.


The class meets once weekly for 10 weeks.



• Language and Feeding Camp



Based on need and demand, Heart 4 Kids Therapy hosts a 10


week language and feeding camp in which children


are expected to attend 1 1⁄2 hour group sessions


twice a week. Sessions include language stimulation


through songs and books, non-food and food sensory


exploration activities, gross motor stimulation


activities, and feeding and/or oral motor therapy


during snack time. This camp is particularly helpful for


children with varying degrees of sensory aversion to


food and liquids.


Note: New patients, who have not received a


comprehensive speech and language and/or feeding


evaluation with Heart For Kids Therapy, will need to


complete a consultation prior to beginning group therapy.



Additional Services



• Workshops for Parents or



Workshops may be provided to small and large group


settings based on need and demand. Topics include:


 -Developmental Milestones


 -Warning signs of communication issues


 -Ways parents may facilitate communication in daily activities


   or play interactions


 -General Question and Answer Session for various


   communication topics



• Detailed Summary


Detailed summaries can be written


to document current levels of functioning,


progress, and current strategies and methodologies


used since the last written report. This report is more


comprehensive than a progress report which provides


current progress to goals, and is only completed by


a child’s therapist at the request of the family for an


additional fee. Please contact Heart 4 Kids Therapy


if you would like a detailed summary for your child






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