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Speech and Language Services

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At Sunny Horizons, LLC, in Scottsboro & Albertville, AL, we work with children who have various speech disorders. These are the the most common diagnoses we work with.

Apraxia of Speech

Childhood apraxia of speech affects the way the brain communicates with the muscles related to speech the neural pathways do not communicate effectively. These children may have trouble organizing their mouth and throat muscles not only for speech, but chewing, swallowing, and other issues. Speech & Language Pathologists (link to about us)(SLPs) may use techniques such as imitation of speech sounds, gestures to indicate the parts of the mouth used to make a particular sound, or introduce alternatives to reduce frustration in communication.

Articulation

Young children often have difficulty forming some speech sounds. By the age of eight, this should be resolved. If not, the child may have articulation disorders of speech. This may include omitting sounds from words (i.e. “coo” instead of cool), adding sounds to words (i.e. “puhlease” instead of please), distorting sounds (i.e. “thcool” instead of school), or swapping letter sounds (i.e. “vench” for bench). This type of disorder can make the child difficult to understand in school or with friends or other situations. It may impair their ability to socialize and lead to isolation. Speech therapy can be used to assist children in correct pronunciation and improve intelligibility of speech.

(AAC) Augmentative Alternative Communication

AAC is basically communication in any form except talking. Severe speech disorders may need AAC to communicate some, or all, of the time. AAC can include anything from writing in a notebook to using a computerized system to speak. For children, using pictures that they can point to for expressing their needs is especially effective.

Behavior Intervention

SLPs understand that negative behaviors may be related to communication difficulties and the resulting frustration. The ability to communicate more effectively with the aid of visuals and other means, is an important part of your child’s behavioral support plan. We are happy to work alongside the behavior therapists with whom your child currently works.

 

Expressive Language

Expressive language disorder is evident when a child has problems clearly communicating  their needs (i.e. “more apple”), answering or asking questions (i.e. “where mommy”), or talking about objects they encounter (i.e. “little dog”). The cause is generally unknown, but may be associated with a developmental delay or autism spectrum disorder. Other causes may be a hearing disorder or head trauma. In some cases, a hereditary factor may be a related cause. SLPs may refer your child to an audiologist for testing in addition to other professionals if the cause is unknown. Based on the individual child’s needs, a speech therapy plan will be put into place.

 

Receptive Language

Receptive language refers to hearing and understanding what is being heard. This disorder can lead to problems following directions, understanding questions, and other issues. These are often associated with expressive language disorders. An auditory exam may be a part of the assessment for receptive language disorder. SLPs can help teach your child to associate a verbal direction with the expected behavior (i.e. standing when the word “stand” is said to them).

Feeding/Swallowing Disorders

A child may have a feeding or swallowing disorder if he or she refuses to eat certain foods or textures, gags or throws up non-preferred foods, or coughs frequently when eating or drinking. Speech-Language Pathologists are uniquely qualified to work with children who have feeding or swallowing disorders and may work alongside Occupational Therapists and other professionals to meet all of your child’s feeding and swallowing needs.

Parent/Caregiver Training

Knowing what strategies to use with your child at home can be difficult. The SLP will provide whatever training you need and will offer support to help you help your child.

Social Skills/Pragmatics

Some children struggle to appropriately interact with peers and adults. They may have trouble initiating or maintaining conversation, asking questions, making eye contact, or have trouble making friends. Speech therapy can provide children with strategies to interact more appropriately with peers and adults.

Tongue/Lip Tie

Many oral health professionals agree that tongue and lip ties are common in both children and adults. They can cause or contribute to a wide variety of symptoms including difficulty breastfeeding and/or transition to solid foods, articulation errors, poor sleep quality, snoring, tongue thrust, open bite, and more.

Voice Disorders

Voice disorders are characterized by the abnormal production and/or absences of vocal quality, pitch, loudness, resonance, and/or duration.

Stuttering and Fluency Disorders

Stuttering affects the fluency of speech. It begins during childhood and, in some cases, lasts throughout life. The disorder is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds.

Literacy (Reading difficulties/dyslexia)

This skill is your ability to read and write. You start to learn language as a baby. You learn how to say sounds and put them together to make words. You learn to use words to tell people what you think and how you feel. These early speech and language skills help you learn to read and write. Does your child have speech or language problems?  He may have trouble learning to read and write. This can make it hard to do well in school.

Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disability is a diverse group of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments. Developmental disabilities cause individuals living with them many difficulties in certain areas of life, especially in language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a serious neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others. It also includes restricted repetitive behaviors, interests and activities. These issues cause significant impairment in social, occupational and other areas of functioning. 1 in 59 individuals are diagnosed with Autism.


Occupational Therapy Services

Sensory Processing Disorders

Sensory processing refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into responses. For those with Sensory Processing Disorder, sensory information goes into the brain but does not get organized into appropriate responses. Those with SPD perceive and/or respond to sensory information differently than most other people. Unlike people who have impaired sight or hearing, those with Sensory Processing Disorder do detect the sensory information; however, the sensory information gets “mixed up” in their brain and therefore their responses are unexpected.


Developmental DisabilitiesSelf care skills

Self care skills are the everyday tasks undertaken so children are ready to participate in life activities (including dressing, eating, cleaning teeth). They are often referred to as the activities of daily living (ADL’s).


Gross Motor Coordination

Gross motor skills are the abilities required in order to control the large muscles of the body for walking, running, sitting, crawling , and other activities.


Visual Perceptual Skills

Visual perceptual skills are the skills that a child uses to make sense of what he or she sees.  Recognizing letters and numbers, matching shapes, recognizing a face, finding a toy in a messy cupboard, reading a road sign—these are all examples of how visual perception can be used in everyday life.


Handwriting

Handwriting is a complex process of managing written language by coordinating the eyes, arms, hands, pencil grip, letter formation, and body posture. The development of a child’s handwriting can provide clues to developmental problems that could hinder a child’s learning because teachers depend on written work to measure how well a child is learning.


Self-regulation

The term “self-regulation” is used to refer to a range of characteristics and abilities. A child with self -regulatory skills is able to focus his attention, control his emotions and manage his thinking, behavior and feelings. Adults are very good at multitasking, but children are not. An adult can be cooking dinner, talking on the phone and thinking about what to make for dessert all at the same time, whereas a child may go upstairs intending to brush his teeth and get distracted as soon as he sees a favorite toy at the top of the stairs. An adult can receive a present they dislike but still smile and thank the gift bearer graciously. A child will receive a gift they don’t like and state “I don’t want this!” and start to cry. Young children tend to live “in the moment” and are ruled by their impulses and their immediate desires or feelings, while adults can filter out distractions, exercise control and decide what is an “appropriate” response before we speak or act. When these appropriate behaviors should have been learned by a child’s specific age, an OT may address self regulation in therapy.


We provide the service YOUR child needs. Call 256-609-6946  or contact us for an appointment today!

Sunny Horizons

Scottsboro

305 W Peachtree St
Scottsboro, AL 35768

Fax Us

256-912-0460

Albertville

3683 U.S. HWY 431
Albertville, AL 35950

Fax Us

256-486-9580

Visit Us

Monday-Thursday 8a.m. - 5p.m.

Closed 12:00-1:00 for lunch