Does my child need Speech-Language Therapy?

Children who could benefit from our services may display some of the following:

  • Has difficulty sucking on bottle or breast
  • Has difficulty drinking from the bottle or cup
  • Does not tolerate a variety of food or textures
  • Has difficulty chewing
  • Drools excessively
  • Drools from one side of the mouth more than the other
  • Keeps mouth open frequently
  • Screams and/or gestures to get wants or needs
  • Is not saying “mama” or “dada” meaningfully
  • Mispronounces words
  • Has difficulty putting sentences together
  • Has difficulty asking or answering questions
  • Has difficulty following directions
  • Is not reaching developmental milestones
  • Does not play with toys appropriately
  • Has difficulty understanding what they just read
  • Has trouble interacting or keeping up with their peers
  • Is unaware of safety precautions

Our Pediatric Therapists have a passion for children, working to develop each child’s abilities.

Diagnoses and treatments include the following:

  • Feeding/Oral Motor Di?culties
  • Prematurity
  • Developmental Delays
  • Language Delay
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Articulation/Phonological Disorders
  • Reading Disorders (Dyslexia)
  • Voice Disorders/Stuttering
  • Genetic Syndromes

Speech-Language Pathologists promote speech/ language and feeding skills through:

  • Breast/bottle feeding intervention
  • Oral motor exercises
  • Feeding intervention
  • Respiratory control
  • Early language development
  • Language/speech development
  • Articulation intervention
  • Augmentative communication
  • Social and Pragmatic interventions

Specialty programs include:

  • NICU Consult/Intervention
  • Beckman Oral Techniques
  • Sensory and Behavioral
  • Feeding Approaches
  • Picture Exchange Communication
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Fluency Programs
  • MORE Program
  • Reading/Dyslexia Programs

Tongue Thrust Disorder

My child sticks out his tongue when he swallows. Why?

Your child may have a condition known as tongue thrust. Tongue thrust is the common name for a disorder in which a person pushes his tongue against or between his teeth during a swallow. Tongue thrust can affect children, adolescents, and adults.

What causes tongue thrust?

Some of the most common causes of tongue thrust include infant feeding difficulties, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, sucking on thumbs or fingers, mouth breathing or other genetic factors, such as abnormal dentition.

How can I tell the difference between a normal swallow and an incorrect swallow?

A normal swallow includes precise movements of the tongue, teeth and facial muscles. In a normal swallow, the tongue tip is raised to a spot behind the front teeth. The rest of the tongue is pushed up against the roof of the mouth, trapping food and liquids. The back teeth are together, and the swallow is accomplished without tensing of the facial muscles.

Any deviation from this is an incorrect swallow.

What clinical procedures are done to diagnose tongue thrust?

A trained speech-language pathologist (SLP) examines the child’s oral structures and tongue positioning during rest, swallowing and speech. The SLP also performs a case history to see if any associated oral behaviors are present.

How is tongue thrust treated?

Therapy for tongue thrust is divided up into 12 lessons. The first five lessons are used to train the different muscles of the swallow to obtain the correct resting pattern and placement. Lessons six and seven teach the child how the correct swallow is performed. The last four lessons teach the child how to make the normal swallow a habit.

How long does treatment last?

The first eight lessons take place once per week for 30 minutes. The last four lessons take place every two weeks. After the 12 lessons are completed, the child should be seen every 3-6 months for two years. At the end of the treatment, if the child is still producing articulation errors, additional speech sessions may be recommended.

Gift Ideas to Promote Speech and Language

The holidays are just around the corner!  One of our speech-language pathologists compiled a list of books and toys that would make great gifts and also help to promote speech and language development.

Books to Promote Speech and Language

  • No No Yes Yes by Leslie Patricelli
    A fun and simple book for toddlers about appropriate behaviors (Draw on the wall? No! Draw on the paper? Yes!); targets problem solving and answering yes/no questions
  • Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae, David Wojtowycz
    A collection of rhyming poems for children 3 and up about jungle animals; targets rhyming skills and animal vocabulary
  • Shake, Rattle & Roll by Ken & Potter Keith Fulk
    A colorful book for older preschoolers that combines computer illustrations with nature photography to show the creatures demonstrating various actions such as ‘climb’ ‘dig’ and ‘eat’; targets action vocabulary
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury, Michael Rosen
    This is a classic book for children ages 4-8 that has a repetitive reading sequence, allowing children to remember and retell the story; targets sequencing of actions
  • The Splendid Spotted Snake: A Magic Ribbon Book by Alexander Wilensky, Betty Schwartz
    A great book for children 3 and up, this book incorporates a sturdy, polka-dotted cotton ribbon to make the snake grow bigger and spots change color with each turn of a page; targets articulation of /s/ sound and color vocabulary
  • Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester, Lynn Munsinger
    This one is appropriate for ages 4-8, this book follows the transformation of a shy rodent with a speech impediment to hero of the class; targets articulation of /r/ sound and is an ego booster for any child that has been bullied or teased

 Games and Toys to Promote Speech and Language

  • Shopping List Memory Game
    A 2-4 player game for children ages 3-7; be the first one to race around the store and collect all the groceries on your shopping list; targets memory skills and food vocabulary
  • Elephant’s Trunk
    A 2-4 player game for ages 4+ years with no reading required;  help the elephant pack by placing a piece of clothing into the matching colored trunk; targets clothing and color vocabulary
  • Educational Insights Laundry Jumble Game
    A game for 4-15 year olds; using only your sense of touch, reach inside the dryer to find the animal’s missing clothing item on your card; targets clothing vocabulary and counting
  • Zingo! Sight Words
    This one is for pre-kindergarten to 2nd grade, this game combines the fun of Bingo with learning to recognize important, commonly used words; targets sight words
  • Aquadoodle
    A fun toy for ages 2+ that allows children to draw and doodle with water without making a mess; encourages creative play
  • Puzzles
    Check recommended age range when selecting a puzzle; also consider a puzzle that will expose new vocabulary (i.e. objects, animals, shapes, letters)
  • Mr. Potato Head
    Classic activity for ages 2 and up, this popular toy targets body parts and clothing vocabulary

Also check out this website recommended by one of our parents:  They have a great search engine to find the perfect gift. You can search by gender, age, price, categories (books, games, puzzles, etc.), and interests (dinosaurs, fairy tales, science).

Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists Discuss Best Gifts for Sensory Development

It’s that time of year again, when we get to celebrate all our blessings throughout the year. Holiday season is a fun time to enjoy and show love to our family and friends. This time can be so stressful to find the JUST RIGHT gift for our little blessings with varying talents.

We have developed a list of fun games and toys to match your little blessings’ wishes and talents:


Gross Motor or Movement Toys

toys-for-gross-motor-movement-physical-therapy-brandon-flPush toys or kid shopping carts: These are motivating for children learning to walk or children who seek heavy work through pushing objects. Developmental age 12 months and up.

Radio Flyer Cyclone Cruiser: Great for children at the developmental age of 3 years or higher, who have full sitting balance and can play without stabilizing their hands on the floor, who may not be ready balance wise for a bike. 75lbs weight limit

Sensory Toys

Kinetic sand: This is perfect for kids who love messy play. Developmental age 2 years and up. This sand-like material molds and sticks together similar to playdough but feels like sand.

Tents or Cranium Super Fort Building set: A great, fun escape for a child who is overstimulated by their environment. Developmental age 3 years and older.



Fine Motor Toys

Perler beads: Small beads that you can place on boards to form different art projects, shapes, or patterns. Appropriate for children with a developmental age of at least 5 years old, who do not place objects in their mouth.

Scratch N’ Color: A great way to incorporate drawing and tool use without having to do writing. Kids can draw pictures on black paper using a small wooden dowel that scratches off to reveal colors underneath. Appropriate for developmental ages 5 years and older.

Bath time squeeze toys or cups: Practice pouring and squeezing during bath time. Developmental age 2 years and older. Be sure your child can sit upright or is fully supported when incorporating fine motor play during bath time.

ball-drop-game-for-babies-develops-sensory-skillsBusy Ball Drop: Working on grasp/ release with your child? Get a toy that is visually fun when a child releases the ball into it. Add a toy hammer, and you just included tool use in the fun.

Legos or building blocks: They make all sizes and types depending upon your child’s developmental age and if they place objects in their mouths. You can start your child with Mega blocks around the developmental age of 11 months.

Oral Motor

Include bubbles and all kinds of whistles as stocking stuffers. These are great to improve your child’s breath control, work on deep breathing, blowing, and possibly decrease oral sensitivities.


Dress up medical kits: Your children have so many medical appointments; allow playtime to include doctor play and dress up to help decrease anxiety during these times as they begin to understand more about what doctors/nurses do.

Spot It!BlokusRush Hour JrHead BandzTappleMouse MatchScatterpillar ScrabbleDiggity DogDon’t Break the Ice: All games for children with a developmental age of at least 4 years. Some rules may have to be adapted depending upon your child’s level. All of these games are easily adaptable.


The Physical Therapy Services team would love to discuss these and other ideas with you as the shopping season comes upon us. Also, see our Gift Giving Guide located in the lobby of both of our clinics for more ideas.

Our hope is for this season of giving and love to be full of enjoyment and peace