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Pediatric Voice Disorders

As kids develop, they learn to use appropriate behaviors at school and at home. Teachers and parents focus on shaping behaviors that encourage children to make healthy and safe choices and develop positive social skills with their peers and adults. Many children who receive speech therapy in school or in a clinical setting, like our San Francisco practice, require assistance in learning how to use their voice properly. According to research, the percentage of children with voice disorders is approximately 6 to 9% (Boone 2014). While some voice disorders are inherited genetically or result from natural or medical causes, most … Continue reading

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Concussions

This winter season, Concussion starring Will Smith was an enlightening and influential film. Based on the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu who studied repeated sports head injuries in professional football players, the movie brought into light some effects of brain trauma on the human brain. Although the film focuses on brain trauma in adults, it serves as a reminder that children and parents should understand the importance of preventing such incidents in young athletes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Emergency Department Visit rate of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in 5-14 year-olds has … Continue reading

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Magic in Numbers

We are all familiar with the face children (and some adults) make when trying new foods. One can get lost in the hours of Youtube footage on “baby’s first tastes,” and each video portrays a look of confusion or even disgust. However, despite these initial reactions, most of those babies then go on to happily anticipate these new foods. This should be a lesson to all of us. During feeding therapy, parents frequently state that their child does not like x or y food. When asked how many times they have tried to give that food to their child, the … Continue reading

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Classroom accommodations for children with CAPD

Last month, we discussed Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and defined some deficits that kids with CAPD often share. Now that it’s fall and the school year is back in gear, it’s important to make sure that students with CAPD can succeed in the classroom. In a city as diverse as San Francisco, teachers are used to adapting their classrooms to fit the needs of educationally and culturally diverse students. Diverse learners include students with CAPD, so here are some suggestions for teachers of children with CAPD:  Seating Seat students with CAPD in the area of the room that is … Continue reading

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Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)

Auditory Processing Disorder: What is it and what is it NOT? Many children who attend speech therapy have difficulties with processing sounds. Some children we see at our San Francisco practice have Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), often called Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). While our services page has a list of some specific areas that children with APD may have trouble with, here is a breakdown of some broader categories of auditory language skills that ASHA identifies as difficulties for children with APD: Sound localization and lateralization Being able to tell where sounds come from (localization) or determining if it … Continue reading

Language, Speech Therapy | 1 Comment

Receptive Language

The two categories of language skills are receptive language and expressive language. Receptive language refers to how children interpret any type of linguistic information they receive (comprehension). Children who experience trouble with receptive language may not be able to understand language that is presented in writing, verbally, or both. Here are some ideas for fun activities that will encourage your child’s developing receptive language skills: 1. Games for following directions Games that use direction following are great to practice receptive language skills. These kinds of games help children practice listening skills in a fun way:  Simon Says This is a … Continue reading

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Speech Therapy Insurance – Glossary

Insurance is tricky and speech therapy insurance is even trickier. Not only is every insurance different but every plan within each insurance varies.  The only consistent thing about insurance is the inconsistency. Each insurance plan is unique. Some insurance plans offer unlimited coverage for speech therapy services. Others allow for 12 visits per calendar year and some have zero allowances for speech therapy. Certain insurance companies only cover speech therapy when it’s related to a medical diagnosis (hearing loss, syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, etc) while others approve regardless of medical conditions. At our speech therapy practice, we do all of … Continue reading

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Speech Therapy – To Recommend Services or Not?

I have the pleasure of collaborating with many preschools and schools in San Francisco and, at several of these schools our speech therapy practice provides on-site screenings. A screening is a brief tool that is used to indicate if a further speech and language assessment is indicated. Sometimes, we note articulation errors but do NOT recommend immediate follow-up. Parents are often confused about this. Why, if the child has articulation errors, are you not recommending therapy? Here is why: Dear Parents, Many of you may be wondering how a child can pass the screening evaluation when he or she consistently … Continue reading

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Language – all day, every day!

As children learn, everything and every person in their environment is continuously influencing them. One way to think about language learning is to picture kids as little scientists, constantly experimenting with how the world reacts to their sounds, words, sentences, and stories. There are endless opportunities for parents to encourage their kids to grow every day! Many strategies that we use when talking to babies and children come naturally, but this outline from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists some wonderful and simple strategies that can encourage expressive language development. Here are a few of the main concepts they suggest: … Continue reading

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Articulation On The Go

Many children that attend speech therapy at our San Francisco practice have trouble making speech sounds and receive therapy services for articulation delays or disorders. Articulation refers to using the mouth, tongue, teeth, and lips to make sounds. For parents whose kids are receiving speech therapy for articulation, it might be a good idea to practice some of the sounds in a natural way. Some fun ways to support what your child’s articulation therapy include: Reading books that have your child’s target sound. For example, if a child was having trouble with the “f” sound in the beginning of a … Continue reading

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