Frequently Asked Questions

What is a speech-language screening?

A speech-language screening is a brief assessment of a child’s communication skills to determine if further testing and evaluation are needed. No diagnoses are made during a speech-language screening.

What is a speech-language evaluation?
A speech-language evaluation uses a variety of assessment measures to show how a child’s communication skills compare to other children of the same age. This enables us to better understand their strengths and needs, determine whether the child is delayed and by how much, and develop an effective, efficient treatment plan.
At what age should I start thinking about speech language therapy for my child?
We work with children ranging in age from infancy to adolescence. Of course, a parent’s gut feeling is usually right, regardless of age. When you compare your child’s communication skills to other kids and wonder whether your child is falling behind, your concern is probably justified. Early intervention is key, so speak with a speech-language pathologist. If you’d like more information on communication milestones, download this checklist.
How much does speech-language therapy cost?

In the interest of transparency, we’ve listed our rates on the Services page. The Little Speech Tree is a private pay practice, which means we do not accept insurance. We believe the services we provide should be based solely on the needs of the child, not the decision-making of an insurance company.

This operational model allows us to achieve more progress in less time. Caitlin Burke can spend more time with each child and family, develop a more personalized therapy plan, and use the most up-to-date, reasearch-based techniques. If your insurance provider offers out-of-network coverage, or you have a health savings account (HSA) or flexible savings account (FSA), we can provide a superbill to submit to your provider.

What’s the difference between speech and language disorders?
Speech focuses on how a child pronounces and articulates sounds and words. Language involves vocabulary and a broader set of skills, including how well children understand what others say, answer questions, follow directions, and use appropriate sentences to express themselves.
What is executive functioning?

Executive functioning is the ability to apply mental skills such as working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control to communicate, learn, focus, organize, follow directions, manage emotions, etc. 

What is executive functioning therapy?

The name may be a bit misleading as this type of therapy is for kids, not executives. Executive function refers to working memory, flexible thinking, self-control, planning, organization, and other fundamental skills involved with communication. Executive functioning therapy focuses on improving these skills and is incorporated into all therapy sessions with The Little Speech Tree.

What is augmentative and alternative communication?

When a child cannot speak from the mouth, an augmentative or alternative form of communication is often needed. There are many different types, ranging from a book full of picture symbols that represent different words to an electronic device that “speaks” words for the child when a button is pushed. 

What is sensory processing?

Sensory Processing is simply the management of incoming sensory information. Incoming sensory information could be something we feel, see, hear, taste, or smell. Sensory processing also helps us move with appropriate balance, use the right amount of force when interacting with our world, and understand the sensations within our own body. Sometimes, children are over sensitive and under sensitive to certain types of sensory input. Some examples include frequently bumping into others unintentionally or wanting to constantly spin on a chair.

What is an independent educational evaluation?

If you disagree with the results of your child’s school evaluation or don’t believe it was thorough enough, you have the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act at the school district’s expense.  The IEE is a private evaluation performed by a qualified professional who does not work for the school district.  The results of the IEE must be considered by the school to determine if your child has access to a “free appropriate public education.”

What is gestalt language processing?

When people think about how children learn language, they think about how children first learn words and then start combining those words to create sentences. This is referred to as analytic language processing. However, many people don’t know that there is another, natural, way to develop language called gestalt language processing. Children who process language in this way are referred to as gestalt language processors and first learn whole “chunks” of language instead of starting with single words. These “chunks” could be lines from a favorite TV show or song that are repeated and used by the child across contexts. These “chunks” of language are known as gestalts (or delayed echolalia) and it is important to understand that these gestalts carry meaning!

How do I know if my child is a gestalt language processor?

In order to determine whether or not your child is a gestalt language processor, you will want to talk with a speech-language pathologist who specializes in gestalt language processing. However, some signs that your child might be a gestalt language processor include being drawn to music, having rich intonation, producing unintelligible strings of language, using delayed echolalia (or scripts), not progressing from “traditional” therapy approaches, and/or having many single words that are not yet being combined.

Have Questions or Concerns?

Keep in mind that every child is unique with their own set of circumstances and challenges. Feel free to contact us to address any questions or concerns about your child so we can determine next steps.

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