The speech and language therapists at The Center offer services unique to each child based on their developmental level. These programs include:
PROMPT is an acronym for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. The technique is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to a child’s jaw, tongue and lips to manually guide them through a targeted word, phrase or sentences. The technique develops motor control and the development of proper oral muscular movements (oral motor control) while eliminating unnecessary muscle movements.
PROMPT therapy is appropriate for a wide range of children with communication disorders. PROMPT is beneficial for children who present with motor speech disorders such as childhood apraxia of speech, articulation disorders, or children who are nonverbal. Children with dysarthria, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries, and autism spectrum disorder have also benefited from the PROMPT technique.
The goals of PROMPT are to shape a child’s speech through the use of tactile-kinesthetic information directed at the jaw, face, lips, or tongue. The PROMPTs facilitate jaw and facial control and the amount of movement required. Ultimately, the goal of PROMPT is to create interaction and communication through any and all means.
TalkTools® is a company that teaches a multi-sensory approach to speech and oral motor therapy. It provides the tools that help in the use of Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) as a way to increase speech clarity. Oral Placement Therapy utilizes a combination of auditory stimulation, visual stimulation, and tactile stimulation to improve articulator awareness, placement, stability, and muscle memory. These are all important in development of age-appropriate speech skills and oral feeding skills.
OPT can be used with clients of all ages and ability levels. It can be incorporated into program plans for many types of speech and feeding disorders.
It is designed to accompany traditional therapy, which is primarily auditory and visual. Clients who have used it have demonstrated an improvement in speech articulation, phonation/breath support, resonance, and oral feeding skills.
SCERTS® is an educational model for working with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. It provides specific guidelines for helping a child become a competent and confident social communicator, while preventing problem behaviors that interfere with learning and the development of relationships.
Social Communication – the development of spontaneous, functional communication, emotional expression, and secure and trusting relationships with children and adults;
Emotional Regulation – the development of the ability to maintain a well-regulated emotional state to cope with everyday stress, and to be most available for learning and interacting;
Transactional Support – the development and implementation of supports to help partners respond to the child’s needs and interests, modify and adapt the environment, and provide tools to enhance learning.
The SCERTS Model can be used with children and older individuals across a range of developmental abilities, including nonverbal and verbal individuals. It is a lifespan model that can be used from initial diagnosis, throughout the school years, and beyond. It can be adapted to meet the unique demands of different social settings for younger and older individuals with ASD including home, school, community, and ultimately vocational settings.
The goal of SCERTS is to help children with ASD become competent and effective communicators, develop meaningful relationships with family members and people in their lives, and achieve “Authentic Progress”, which is defined as the ability to learn and spontaneously apply functional and relevant skills in a variety of settings and with a variety of partners.
The Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol (K-SLP) is a way of teaching children with apraxia of speech the easiest way of saying words until they have increased motor-speech coordination. This teaching method is a reflection of how young children attempt “first words.” The K-SLP gives children of all ages a way to attempt difficult words using word approximations, and refining and reinforcing these attempts toward whole target words and phrases.
The Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol is highly beneficial for children diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Other children who exhibit articulation disorders, motor speech disorders, and children with autism spectrum disorder would benefit from K-SLP.
The goal of Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol is to build upon the child’s motor-speech skills to shape consonants, vowels, and syllable shapes/gestures from what they are capable of producing toward higher levels of motor-speech coordination. Ultimately the K-SLP works to give the child a functional means by which to become an effective vocal communicator.
The Lindamood-Bell Learning Process teaches children reading and comprehension by strengthening sensory-cognitive functions needed for these skills. The processes are based on a theory of cognition, as reading and comprehension are cognitive acts, and can address the global needs of learners. These processes include Talkies, LiPS program, Visualizing and Verbalizing Program, and Seeing Stars.
This approach is beneficial for children who demonstrate difficulties with expressive language, reading comprehension and reading fluency. It teaches the child how to build visual imagery which in turn strengthens and improves their ability to communicate, read and broaden their academic skills for the classroom.
Teaching children how to build visual imagery which in turn strengthens and improves their ability to communicate, read and broaden their academic skills for the classroom.
Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) is any way to communicate apart from verbal speech. AAC may be “no-tech”, such as using gestures or sign language; “low tech”, such as writing/typing, picture exchange systems, and symbol communication boards; or “high-tech”, such as electronic devices with speech generating capabilities. Some people with severe speech and language impairments rely on AAC for all of their communication needs. Others may have some verbal speech but benefit from AAC to assist or enhance their ability to express themselves. An AAC system may be comprised of symbols, aids, techniques, and strategies. AAC can reduce frustration, increase independence, and enable social interactions, self-confidence, and educational performance.
There is a wide range of people who can benefit from the use of AAC. This includes people who have not yet developed intelligible speech, are nonverbal, have limited expressive language or non-functional speech, or have lost the ability to communicate verbally. People with the following conditions may benefit from the use of AAC: autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, genetic syndromes (such as Down’s Syndrome), intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, hearing impairment, disease, stroke, and head injury.
The goal of using AAC is to provide the most effective interactive communication possible. AAC provides or assists in the communication of thoughts, feelings, needs, wants, and ideas; the very essence of what makes us "human". The most effective approach to provide independent, interactive communication is to teach AAC users to spontaneously and independently combine single words to generate novel phrases and sentences in order to say anything that he/she wants at any time.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) AAC Definition/Resources
ASHA Information for AAC Users
The Autism Helper: What is Core and Fringe Vocabulary
AAC Language Lab (Prentke Romich Company) AAC Institute
AAC e-Tool Box
DIR® – Developmental, Individual-differences, and Relationship-based – is a model of therapy that seeks to help children reach their fullest potential through connections, engagement, love, and understanding. Floortime® is a technique that uses this model by following the child’s natural emotional interests and at the same time challenging the child toward greater mastery of their social, emotional, and intellectual abilities. It emphasizes the critical role of parents and other family members because of the importance of their emotional relationships with the child.
DIRFloortime has become most widely known as an approach to support children with Autism Spectrum Disorders although any child can benefit from this approach.
The goals of the DIR Model are to build healthy foundations for social, emotional, and intellectual capacities rather than focusing on skills and isolated behaviors.
The Social Thinking Methodology teaches the process and strategies for improving an individual’s ability to do social thinking and related social skills. The mission of Social Thinking is to explore the abstract nature of the social world and to teach how others can improve their social interpretation and social competencies using concretely defined frameworks and strategies. The methodology helps each individual develop their social self-awareness, perspective taking, and social self-management skills to meet their personal goals. Social goals can include helping children to learn to relate to others, to work effectively as part of a team, and to learn effectively as part of a group.
The Social Thinking Methodology is a language-based approach best utilized by people with solid language and intelligence ages 4 years through adulthood. It is not designed for any particular diagnostic label. Many with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders (Type 1 and 2), bi-polar, social anxiety, or who may be gifted and talented may have strong language and academic skills but struggle with social learning compared to their typically-developing peers. The Social Thinking Methodology helps individuals with these struggles, as well as typically-developing folks.
Improving one’s social thinking will help to improve their social skills (social behavior), reading comprehension of literature, written expression, narrative language, playing with peers, working as part of a group, forming peer networks, etc. Much of what we do in school, at work, and as part of the community requires understanding the perspectives of other people and thus – social thinking.
We partner with psychologists and social workers from Anchored Family Psychology and Counseling Associates – conveniently located in our Jenison location – for psychological evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Together we determine the best plan of action for your child and the family. Services performed at Anchored Family are billed separately and appointments will need to be scheduled directly with the Anchored Family team.
Visit Anchored Family
Occupational, Speech and Physical therapies are paneled with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Michigan, Blue Care Network (BCN), Cofinity, and Priority Health covering a range of diagnoses. We are paneled with all of these providers for autism spectrum services. Clients with other health plans may be able to submit for reimbursement, but payment will be out-of-pocket at the time of treatment.