EARLY START SPEECH THERAPY
At Early Start Speech Therapy, we believe that our clients deserve the best opportunities to learn and grow in their communication skills.
We specialize in comprehensive evaluations and treatment of speech sound disorders, language delays and disorders, language-related learning disabilities and executive dysfunction, complex communication needs (CCN) and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and pragmatic language or social communication disorders.
Children and adults with receptive and expressive language disorders have difficulties with understanding language concepts, learning new vocabulary, answering questions, telling stories, and using appropriate grammar and sentence structure. These challenges may also impact reading and writing skills and should therefore be addressed as soon as possible.
At Early Start, we use client-directed and naturalistic therapy methods to motivate and engage the learner and create varied communication
opportunities in each session. We provide caregivers and other frequent communication partners with continuous education and coaching to help them implement language facilitation strategies outside of therapy.
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
Autism is a neurological variation that impacts an individual's experience of the world through their senses, communication and language abilities, cognitive and emotional processing, and ways of interacting socially. Click here for more information: https://autisticadvocacy.org/about-asan/about-autism/
Therapists at Early Start accept and value neurodiversity, striving to support each client in becoming the best version of themselves so they can lead meaningful, self-determined lives.
ARTICULATION AND PHONOLOGICAL DISORDERS
Children can demonstrate difficulties in producing certain sounds or groups of sounds that impact their speech intelligibility. They may substitute one sound for another or omit sounds within words. Click here for more information: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/SpeechSoundDisorders/
A detailed evaluation can determine the sounds errors that must be addressed in order to improve speech intelligibility. Therapy involves systematically addressing those errors first in isolation and then in words, sentences, and conversation.
LANGUAGE-RELATED LEARNING DISABILITIES & EXECUTIVE DYSFUNCTION
Individuals with language-related learning disabilities can experience significant academic or work-related difficulties including decoding or "sounding out" words, reading comprehension, writing, spelling, and processing auditory information -- despite possessing average or above average cognitive abilities. Similarly, individuals with executive dysfunction may experience challenges with attention and focus, organization and prioritizing, self-monitoring, recognizing and regulating emotional states, and storing and retrieving information from memory.
Speech-language therapy can address these challenges by both directly remediating skills in areas of weakness as well as teaching compensatory skills that capitalize on other strengths -- such as visual supports or mental imagery strategies for someone with strong visual processing skills but weaker auditory processing or working memory.
ALTERNATIVE AND AUGMENTATIVE COMMUNICATION (AAC)
Individuals with significant or complex communication disorders can use alternative strategies or devices -- such as gestures, manual signs, communication boards/books, or high-tech voice-output devices -- to supplement or sometimes replace speech. For some individuals, AAC may be a temporary or part-time solution -- or even primarily a tool for maximizing language development through a visual medium -- while for others it may their primary method of communication for much of their lives.
Sarah has over a decade of specialized training and experience with AAC evaluation, intervention, and consultation. She is familiar with a range of AAC strategies ranging from low-tech to high-tech and including dedicated AAC technology as well as tablet-based AAC apps such as Proloquo2Go, TouchChat with WordPower, LAMP Words for Life, and Speak for Yourself.