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1400 Preston Road, Ste 300 Plano Texas 75093
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Services for All Ages

Pediatric Services

Babies, Toddlers, School-Aged Students

Speech sound errors are a common problem amongst developing children. Your child may have trouble making sounds. He/she may substitute another sound, leave sounds out, add sounds, or change the sound. This may be happening frequently and consistently. It can be hard for others to understand him/her. You may have noticed behavioral changes and increased frustration/aggression from your child due to his/her difficulty communicating clearly.

A Speech Language Pathologist can help your child say sounds correctly and clearly. Treatment may include:

  • Learning the correct way to make sounds
  • Differentiating different sounds
  • Knowing when sounds are right or wrong
  • Practicing sounds in different words
  • Practicing sounds in longer sentences and in conversation

Language Delay vs. Language Disorder: Which one is it?

Unfortunately, there is not always a straightforward answer to this question. A language delay is just that—a delay in acquisition of language skills compared to one’s chronological and cognitive/intellectual age-peers. A young child with a language delay may exhibit a slower onset of a language skill, a slower rate of progression through the acquisition process, and a slower sequence in which the language skills are learned, or all of the above.

However, some children who develop language may continue to demonstrate persistent difficulties learning and using language skills, falling behind their peers and age/grade-expectations. At this stage, they may be assessed by a Speech and Language Pathologist and diagnosed with a language disorder. Receptive language disorder refers to comprehension of language, instructions, word order and structure, and linguistic concepts. Expressive language usually refers to verbal fluency, yet with skillful use of language and its elements described above.

The earlier the intervention and the more parents practice learned skills with their children at home, the more improvement a child will achieve.

Early intervention for a language delay may take on several forms:

Indirect treatment and monitoring

  • Provide activities for parents and caregivers to engage in with the child, such as book-sharing and parent-child interaction groups.
  • Check in with the family periodically to monitor language development.

Direct intervention, including techniques such as:

  • Expansions—repeating the child’s utterance and adding grammatical and semantic detail.
  • Recasts—changing the mode or voice of the child’s original utterance (for example, declarative to interrogative).
  • Build-ups and breakdowns—the child’s utterance is expanded (built up) and then broken down into grammatical components (break down) and then built up again into its expanded form.

Intervention for a language disorder is child specific and based on that child’s current level of language functioning, profile of strengths and weaknesses, and functioning in related areas, including hearing, cognitive level and speech production skills. The overall goal of intervention is to stimulate language development and teach skills to enhance communication and access academic content.

Dyslexia/Language Learning Disability

Language-based learning disabilities are problems with age-appropriate reading, spelling, and/or writing. This disorder is not about how smart a person is. All children learn differently and require different approaches or multi-sensory techniques to be able to access and acquire new information like others.

Dyslexia has been used to refer to the specific learning problem of reading. Language-based learning disabilities included the relationship between spoken and written language. Many children with reading problems have spoken language problems.

The child with dyslexia has trouble almost exclusively with the written (or printed) word. The child who has dyslexia as part of a larger language learning disability has trouble with both the spoken and the written word. These problems may include difficulty with the following:

  • Expressing ideas clearly, as if the words needed are on the tip of the tongue but won’t come out. What the child says can be vague and difficult to understand (e.g., using unspecific vocabulary, such as “thing” or “stuff” to replace words that cannot be remembered). Filler words like “um” may be used to take up time while the child tries to remember a word.
  • Learning new vocabulary that the child hears (e.g., taught in lectures/lessons) and/or sees (e.g., in books)
  • Understanding questions and following directions that are heard and/or read
  • Recalling numbers in sequence (e.g., telephone numbers and addresses)
  • Understanding and retaining the details of a story’s plot or a classroom lecture
  • Reading and comprehending material
  • Learning words to songs and rhymes
  • Telling left from right, making it hard to read and write since both skills require this directionality
  • Letters and numbers
  • Learning the alphabet
  • Identifying the sounds that correspond to letters, making learning to read difficult
  • Mixing up the order of letters in words while writing
  • Mixing up the order of numbers that are a part of math calculations
  • Spelling
  • Memorizing the times tables
  • Telling time

Augmentative communication devices are defined as the devices that give a voice to people, who otherwise do not have one. This kind of communication device enables the individuals to express their needs and wants, thereby eliminating the need to rely on others for assistance. These kind of augmentative communication devices are also referred to as assistive communication devices. By constant practice and training, many individuals can successfully voice their needs and opinions.

Our therapists are uniquely trained in the assessment and customization of your communication needs, whether with a low-tech or high-tech device. We have expertise with various communication software and speech-generating device vendors. Common software and brands that our pediatric clients prefer are:

  • Proloquo2go
  • Tobii Dynavox Compass Software
  • PRC Accent
  • Eye Gaze Technology
  • SVO Power Application

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders (e.g. Autistic disorder, Asperger’s, Pervasive development disorder). The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, strengths, and levels of impairment that people with ASD can have. Impairments occur  in communication (e.g. language learning, speech production, social skills, reading/writing).

Speech Therapy maximizes the most optimal and efficient form of communication for your child. We pursue verbal communication, alternative/augmentative communication methods rooted in visual vocabulary, or a combination of both methods.

Specialized language and communication training will help children that exhibit:

  • Non-verbal yet favorable comprehension skills
  • Echolalia (repeating words/sentences heard)
  • Few vocabulary words
  • Apraxia of speech (difficulty producing speech sounds accurately)
  • Poor eye-contact
  • Rigid thinking
  • Trouble taking-turns and staying on topic
  • Potential with communication devices

Specialized, evidenced-based techniques that we incorporate include:

  • Multi-sensory child-directed play
  • Dual-language approach for bilingual children
  • Language routines
  • K-SLP Method for Apraxia of Speech
  • Core Vocabulary Word Approach
  • Storybooks
  • Social Thinking
  • Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS)
  • Functional cooking, crafts, and music activities
  • American Sign Language/ Visual Phonics

Speech-Language Pathologists are involved in the care of children of all ages who have feeding and swallowing difficulties. Our goal is to improve nutrition and hydration while preventing risks of aspiration pneumonia, underdevelopment, and malnutrition.

If feeding therapy with an SLP is recommended, the focus on intervention may include the following:

  • making the muscles of the mouth stronger
  • increasing tongue movement
  • improving chewing
  • increasing acceptance of different foods and liquids (e.g. picky eaters, aversions)
  • improving sucking and/or drinking ability
  • coordinating the suck-swallow-breath pattern (for infants)
  • altering food textures and liquid thickness to ensure safe swallowing
  • Trialing and recommending specialized feeding/swallowing equipment and strategies

Executive function is like the CEO of the brain. It’s in charge of making sure things get done from the planning stages of the job to the final deadline. When kids have issues with executive functioning, any task that requires planning, organization, memory, time management and flexible thinking becomes a challenge.

Having issues with executive functioning makes it difficult to:

  • Keep track of time
  • Make plans
  • Make sure work is finished on time
  • Multitask
  • Apply previously learned information to solve problems
  • Analyze ideas
  • Look for help or more information when it is needed

SLPs provide cognitive retraining for all ages to improve executive function in order for children to succeed academically. Training improves productivity at home and school, in extracurricular activities, and in their first job.

Breathing Recovery & Control Treatment:

Specialization in athletes and vocal performers

Vocal cord dysfunction, also called paradoxical vocal cord motion, is a common mimicker of asthma, allergies, and severe upper airways obstruction with consequent misdiagnosis and mismanagement, and is frequently overlooked.

It is characterized by moments in our breathing when our airway is supposed to be open, our vocal folds close instead, obstructing our airway. For example, midway through a run, an athlete may feel his/her airway closing tight, causing them to panic. This occurs in several women in addition to men. The exact cause is unknown. However, several “triggers” include:

Co-Existing asthma
GERD
Reflux
High-intensity exercise or activity
Inhaled Allergens
Post-nasal drip
Stress/Anxiety

Knowing the difference between an asthma attack and PVFM  will help those who have both know when to use the rescue inhaler prescribed or when to use the breathing recovery exercises trained by a Speech-Language Pathologist.

Social Thinking focuses on helping kids figure out how to think in social situations. Kids are taught to observe and think about their own and others’ thoughts and feelings. They also learn the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

If you’re child is struggling with social skills, individual sessions and group sessions are offered to improve social/emotional awareness and behaviors.

Symptoms include:

  • Poor perspective taking
  • Poor display of eye contact
  • Difficulty interpreting facial expression and tone of voice
  • Intrusiveness or interrupting others frequently
  • Dominating talk time
  • Rigid thinking, getting stuck or fixating on a thought
  • Not greeting or responding to questions/comments appropriately
  • Difficulty understanding sarcasm, idioms, hypothetical situations, and figurative language
  • Poor joint attention
  • Difficulty empathizing

Adult & Geriatric Services

Ages 18+

 

People with dysphagia have difficulty swallowing and may even experience pain while swallowing (odynophagia). Some people may be completely unable to swallow or may have trouble safely swallowing liquids, foods, or saliva. When that happens, eating becomes a challenge. Often, dysphagia makes it difficult to take in enough calories and fluids to nourish the body and can lead to additional serious medical problems (e.g. malnutrition, worsened wounds, pneumonia, confusion, illness, deconditioning…etc)

Dysphagia occurs when there is a problem with the neural control or with the structures involved in any part of the swallowing process. A weak tongue or weak cheek muscles may make it hard to move food around in the mouth for chewing. A stroke or other nervous system disorder may make it difficult to initiate or stimulate a swallow as food and drinks travel through the mouth. Another difficulty can occur when weak throat muscles, such as after cancer surgery, cannot move all of the food toward the stomach. Dysphagia may also result from disorders of the esophagus.

Augmentative communication devices are defined as the devices that give a voice to people, who otherwise do not have one. This kind of communication device enables individuals to express their needs and wants, thereby eliminating the need to rely on others for assistance. By constant practice and training, many individuals can successfully voice their needs and opinions.

A communication device can be beneficial to people overcoming:

-Aphasia  (Speech/Language Impairment)
-Head & Neck Cancer (Voice Impairment)
-Neurodegenerative (e.g. Dementia, Primary Progressive Aphasia, ALS/PLS, Multiple Sclerosis,  Cerebral Palsy, etc.)
-Severe Dysarthria or Vocal Cord Injury/Paralysis
-Severe Respiratory Impairment (e.g. mechanical ventilation, trach, SCI…etc.)
-Autism

Our therapists are uniquely trained in the assessment and customization of your communication needs, whether a low-tech or high-tech device. We have expertise using various communication software and working closely with speech-generating device vendors. Common software and brands that our adult clients prefer are:

  • Tobii Dynavox Compass Software
  • Tobii Dynavox T-Series Devices
  • Lightwriter Device
  • PRC Accent Technologies
  • Lingraphica Touch Talk/All Talk
  • Eye Gaze Technology

Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) of Texas

See if you qualify for a no-cost, government-sponsored device through the Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) of Texas. STAP requires a consultation and an initial assessment by a Speech Language Pathologist. We offer one-time, consultations and application assistance for qualifying patients. STAP essentially helps people with disabilities gain access to telephone networks by funding basic, specialized, and assistive equipment and accessories required, including hearing devices and dedicated speech devices. STAP provides a voucher that covers the full cost of communication devices and equipment.

Cognitive-communication disorders result in difficulty communicating due to an underlying breakdown in cognitive/brain function.

A cognitive-communication disorder results from impaired functioning of one or more cognitive processes, including the following:

  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Perception
  • Insight and judgment
  • Organization
  • Orientation
  • Language
  • Processing speed
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning
  • Executive functioning
  • Metacognition
  • Self-Monitoring
  • Sequencing

If the brain experiences trauma (e.g. brain injury or stroke) or deterioration of functioning (e.g. Dementia), these cognitive processes can stop working properly. You may notice examples of unusual decline in daily activities such as difficulty with language expression, completing tasks, and/or problem solving.

People with cognitive-communication disorders often benefit from assessment and treatment by a Speech-Language Pathologist. Primary goals of therapy are to restore function if possible, compensate for deficits, and educate the client and family about ways to manage the disorder.

Aphasia is a language disorder.  Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is always due to injury to the brain, most commonly from a stroke. But it can also come on gradually from a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes progressive, permanent damage (degenerative). Where and how bad the brain damage is and what caused it determine the degree of disability. Aphasia can be so severe as to make communication with the patient almost impossible, or it can be very mild.

Persons living with Aphasia may still have an opportunity to maximize their communication function through verbal language therapy or through use of a communication device. A skilled Speech-Language Pathologist will determine best treatment approaches based on the type and severity of Aphasia. Bilingual assessments are also available. 

Voice loss is a common problem for many. However, several individuals develop voice disorders through prolonged vocal misuse, overuse, abuse, and trauma. Voice disorders may also be a direct result of a medical related illness or event. Speech-Language Pathologist are skillful in the anatomy and function of healthy voice use and train one to sustain healthy vocal habits to prevent injury and loss. Often at risk of developing voice disorders are professional voice users—individuals who rely heavily on their voice for their jobs (e.g. teachers, singer, actors, anchors, clergy, sales representatives…etc.).

Some symptoms of a voice disorder include, but are not limited to hoarseness, loss of pitch range, pitch breaks, an undesirable voice quality, breathiness, rapid fatigue during speaking or singing, pain or burning sensations in the throat, and/or strain. Common causes seen by an ENT doctor are vocal fold nodules, polyps, swelling, hemorrhage, and muscle tension dysphonia…etc. After an ENT evaluation, a Speech-Language Pathologist is referred to begin treatment if surgical intervention is not an immediate necessity. Our treatment expertise includes:

Professional Users:

  • Singers
  • Teachers
  • Clergy/Ministers
  • Doctors/Healthcare Professionals
  • Actors
  • Public Speakers
  • Sales Reps
  • Radio Personalities
  • News Anchors

Medically Complex:

  • Voice difficulties after intubation/tracheostomy, stroke, or head & neck cancer
  • Parkinson’s Disease (LSVT LOUD CERTIFIED PROGRAMS)
  • Spasmodic Dysphonia
  • Unilateral Vocal Cord Paralysis
  • Respiratory Compromised (Asthma, COPD, SCI, Post Lung Transplant, etc.)

Breathing Recovery Treatment

Vocal cord dysfunction, also called paradoxical vocal cord motion, is a common mimicker of asthma, allergies, and severe upper airways obstruction with consequent misdiagnosis and mismanagement, and is frequently overlooked.

It is characterized by moments in our breathing when our airway is supposed to be open, our vocal folds close instead, obstructing our airway. For example, midway through a run, an athlete may feel his/her airway closing tight, causing them to panic. This occurs in several women in addition to men. The exact cause is unknown. However, several “triggers” include:

Co-existing asthma
GERD
Reflux
High-intensity exercise or activity
Inhaled Allergens
Post-nasal drip
Stress/Anxiety
Neurological conditions that can cause difficulty inhaling only during waking

Knowing the difference between an asthma attack and PVFM  will help those who have both know when to use the rescue inhaler prescribed or when to use the breathing recovery exercises trained by a Speech-Language Pathologist.

A more specialized treatment service is available to individuals who experience voice irritation and difficulty due to a habit cough or throat clear. Coughing and throat clearing in excess can cause injury to your vocal cords. Your vocal cords may become swollen or highly irritated as a result, perhaps even changing the sound and quality of your voice. You may begin feeling changes in your throat, such as a lump or a burning sensation.

Speech-Language Pathologist are skillful in the anatomy and function of healthy voice use and train one to sustain healthy vocal habits to prevent injury and loss. Habit cough and throat clear can be trained away!

Expiratory Muscle Strength Training (EMST) is an evidenced based treatment program that revealed benefits to patients with swallowing, speech, voice, and respiratory related disorders. Resistance is applied to the exhalation phase of breathing to improve muscles of exhalation during rigorous and specific exercises. Because we need strong pressures during an exhale to effectively cough, speak, sing, and verbalize long and loud utterances, EMST can be very beneficial. EMST treatment is facilitated by a Speech-Language Pathologist.

Dyslexia/Language Learning Disability

Adult language-based learning disabilities are problems with age-appropriate reading, spelling, and/or writing. As a result, reading may not be as fast or fluent. When that is the case, reading lengthy material can be daunting and difficult to comprehend. Several adults receive first-time assessments for dyslexia or begin ongoing treatment to help them become more fluent readers and great comprehenders.

Dyslexia has been used to refer to the specific learning problem of reading. Language-based learning disabilities included the relationship between spoken and written language. Many adults have a combination of a spoken and written language disorder.

The adult with dyslexia has trouble almost exclusively with the written (or printed) word. The adult who has dyslexia as part of a larger language learning disability has trouble with both the spoken and the written word. These problems may include difficulty with the following:

  • Expressing ideas clearly, as if the words needed are on the tip of the tongue but won’t come out. What the child says can be vague and difficult to understand (e.g., using unspecific vocabulary, such as “thing” or “stuff” to replace words that cannot be remembered). Filler words like “um” may be used to take up time while the child tries to remember a word.
  • Learning new vocabulary that the child hears (e.g., taught in lectures/lessons) and/or sees (e.g., in books)
  • Understanding questions and following directions that are heard and/or read
  • Recalling numbers in sequence (e.g., telephone numbers and addresses)
  • Understanding and retaining the details of a story’s plot or a classroom lecture
  • Reading and comprehending material
  • Learning words to songs and rhymes
  • Telling left from right, making it hard to read and write since both skills require this directionality
  • Letters and numbers
  • Learning the alphabet
  • Identifying the sounds that correspond to letters, making learning to read difficult
  • Mixing up the order of letters in words while writing
  • Mixing up the order of numbers that are a part of math calculations
  • Spelling
  • Memorizing the times tables
  • Telling time

“Beyond the Table” Approaches

A distinguishing factor. 

The most exciting aspect about therapy with Champion is not only our commitment to our patient’s learning, but to each patient’s application of learned skills in functional environments. Community-based intervention and independent-living skills are strongly tied to individual goals as we aim to improve meaningful participation and interaction.

Community-based intervention is proven to increase motivation and communication patterns in children and adults with autism,  acquired brain injuries, and in adults post-stroke. Patients with Dementia can also benefit from this style of service. All of our community-based therapy “field-trips” are at no additional cost to you or your loved one.

At Champion, all of our clients matter and so do their meaningful interactions with others!