Speech and language are an essential part of a child’s life. It is important that children can communicate with others and understand language so they can communicate effectively with parents, peers, teachers, etc. When there is a speech language disorder present, it is best to address it with speech therapy as early as possible. Although there are a range of different speech pathologies and each child’s speech disorders may look different, there are common signs to be aware of and look out for. 

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), speech problems can be categorized into speech disorders, language disorders, and medical/developmental conditions.

  • A speech disorder may include childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), which is when the brain has difficulty with the planning and coordinating of movements required to produce speech, or stuttering, which is dysfluencies noted in speech.
  • A language disorder may include receptive language difficulties, such as difficulty with following directions, answering questions, or identifying objects/pictures. Expressive language difficulties include limited vocabulary, difficulty with putting words together to form phrases and sentences, and using language for various forms of communication.
  • Examples of medical and developmental conditions may include Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), brain injury, and autism.

According to the Center for Parent Information and Resources, speech disorders may be present in any age in the following categories:

  • Language- The child has difficulty expressing their ideas and understanding directions or others’ thoughts and questions
  • Articulation- The child produces certain sounds incorrectly (e.g., /w/ for /l/, such as white for light)
  • Voice- The child’s voice is atypically high, loud, or low
  • Fluency- The child has difficulty with the flow of speaking or breathing inappropriately during speech

Some common signs to look for in children include:

  • Difficulty understanding the child
  • Difficulty with expressing ideas clearly
  • Trouble understanding ideas from others
  • Difficulty putting words together into phrases/sentences
  • Trouble recalling new vocabulary and using it
  • Inappropriate grammar usage
  • Reduced vocabulary
  • Incorrect word usage
  • Difficulty understanding the meaning of a word
  • Poor social interaction skills
  • Difficulty reading and sounding words out
  • Difficulty answering questions/following directions 

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Reading and Spelling Keri LaVoie Yakos Therapy Kankakee Illinois

Meet Keri LaVoie

Education Specialist

B.A. Elementary Education and M.A. Educational Administration
Endorsements: Language Arts & Social Science

Professional Experience: Keri has worked as a classroom teacher, Reading Recovery trained educator, and school administrator for the past 22 years.

She has completed extensive work with individual and small group literacy instruction including assessments for diagnosing student’s skill level, delivering lessons focused on individual learning goals, and progress monitoring to inform instruction and next steps. Keri believes the key to developing successful readers is to motivate children to love to read while developing their literacy horizons at a pace that is just right for them. In addition, Keri has been involved in supervising and mentoring elementary educators and providing professional development in the area of literacy. Keri has passion for integrating “Mindfulness” practices and strategies into the learning environment to create a calm, focused and peaceful learning environment. “Mindfulness” strategies may reduce stress and anxiety, increase concentration and engagement, improve sleep, help children develop problem-solving and decision-making skills, and improve social skills with peers.

Yakos Therapy Inc. provides speech-language and feeding therapy in a clinic setting. Our therapists keep up on current research in this area and collaborate with other providers to ensure success. Feeding therapy sessions are planned using fun multi sensory activities to allow children to explore various smells, textures and tastes. Our therapists provide parent education and develop home program activities with the parents to allow for family food preferences.

Contact Yakos Therapy Inc. today to learn how our office can help your family!

Parent involvement is a part of our therapy time at Yakos Therapy Inc. Our therapists work with parents and provide home program games and toys to ensure home practice is not a "chore". Mothers and fathers participate in this process and work together to provide home practice during daily activities and play time.

Contact Yakos Therapy Inc. today to learn how our office can help your family!