Our Speech therapy services aims to provide life-changing treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication (e.g. speech and language delay/disorder, autism spectrum disorders, brain injury, aphasia, dementia, hearing impairment, voice disorders, etc.).
Speech therapy services begin with initial assessment and diagnosis. It would usually take around 60 to 90 minutes. The assessment will usually cover the following areas:
- Background information – explore major concerns and needs
- Oromotor sensitivity and functioning – explore the physical speech organs
- Articulation – explore the clarity, fluency of speech
- Language – explore the grammar, content and application of language
- Cognition – explore the thinking skills that support language development
- Voice – explore the phonation, resonance of voice
Following the assessment, advice regarding management and intervention would be provided. We provide treatment mainly on an individual basis but we also support family members and professionals working closely with the individual. Other follow up professional services for these disorders would be recommended if necessary.
Traditional therapy approaches usually focus on managing the symptoms of the problems. In order to increase the outcome of therapy and to reduce the time and resources investment, our speech therapists would design target-based treatment with the goal to eliminate the roots of the problems.
In our clinic, we usually provide individual therapy sessions. Treatment frequency and length would vary largely depending on the severity of the conditions. Family/Caregiver involvement and home practice are highly encouraged to maximize and stabilize the therapy effects.
There are a few reasons for unclear articulation and weak fluency. One of the major problems is inadequate oromotor muscles coordination. Therefore, articulation therapy would usually include oromotor muscles training (including lips, tongue, jaws, etc.) and Target sound training (from word level to conversational level).
Children who are 2 years old and have no single word or for those individuals who have significant articulation differences compared to peers should receive an assessment. For Cantonese and English speaking population, we would expect complete articulation development by 5 years and 8 years of age respectively. Despite age, adults who have unclear articulation could also undergo therapy and correct as well.
Language disorder is a problem that involves the processing of language. Individuals may have difficulties in comprehension and/or expression. Language disorder could be congenital (i.e. inborn), developmental or acquired (e.g. brain injury, diseases).
It has long been known that thought and language are closely linked in the development. In order to build and expand language, we need to develop the appropriate thinking skills. Even with similar language abilities, individuals may vary greatly in their underlying challenges. Therefore, in designing therapy, our therapists would identify specific needs and tailor made activities for each individual. The ultimate goal of language therapy is enhancing individuals to reach adequate language skills for communications, learning and working.
In Hong Kong, voice disorder is a common pathology due to air pollution, noisy environment, occupational needs and busy lifestyle. Individuals who develop voice problems may be due to structural abnormalities (such as vocal folds nodules, vocal folds paralysis) or functional problems (such as vocal abuse).
Generally speaking, voice therapy would include learning about how the voice works and how to protect it, establishing vocal hygiene routines, practicing proper phonation techniques as well as making correct use of amplification instruments.