Getting it Together for Executive Functions

Getting it Together at SPS combines iLs programming and Interactive Metronome programming that is designed to target attention and concentration with specific training in executive function skills. Our curriculum helps students plan, initiate, organize and complete tasks, as well as know when to “put on the brakes” and think before they act! Depending on each unique learner’s needs, we individualize each student’s program to address the specific areas that will help him navigate the educational and social arenas with success.

Getting it Together targets the following cognitive and behavioral skills:

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Attention

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Time management

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Self-talk

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Listening awareness

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Impulse Control

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Planning & Organization

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Self-monitoring

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Flexible thinking

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Working memory

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Emotional control

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Setting goals & Self-evaluating

Tongue Thrust

What is a Tongue Thrust?

Tongue thrust is the process of pushing the tongue forward against or between the teeth when swallowing.  Constant pressure of the tongue against the teeth can move teeth, thus causing malocclusion.  We at SPS work closely with dentists and orthodontists in diagnosing and treating tongue thrust in children and adults.

What are the Affects of Tongue Thrust

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Sounds such as "s,""z,""sh,""ch," and "j" may sound distorted

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Slowing of orthodontic correction or possible orthodontic relapse

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Difficulty wearing dentures or dental appliances

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An unusual, perhaps unpleasant, appearance when chewing and eating

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Weak jaw and lips

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Periodental problems

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Temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ)

What Causes a Tongue Thrust?

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Allergies

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Thumb or finger sucking

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Heredity, neurological, and/or muscular problems may be contributing factors as well.

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Enlarged Adenoids

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Tongue that is “anchored” to the floor of the mouth

Tongue Thrust Therapy

The purpose of therapy is to replace behaviors that appear harmful to the teeth and/or appearance with alternative ones that are neutral or beneficial in their effects. Treatment is based on principles of teaching new oral-motor patterns. Generally, it is difficult to correct articulatory errors (if caused by tongue thrust) without addressing the tongue thrust pattern.

Oral Motor Skills

Oral motor skills are imperative for speech production, feeding, and swallowing. Children may present with weak oral musculature that affects intelligibility of speech in a number of ways. Children and adults who persist in using a “lax” sounding “r,” a lisp, or tongue thrust may have specific weakness of the tongue that contributes to their articulation difficulty. Treatment at SPS consists of training, strengthening, and maintaining muscle patterns. Various exercises are prescribed based on specific needs. SPS therapists are experienced in Beckman Oral Motor Protocol and various other oral-motor treatment tecniques to achieve improved muscle tone and fuction for more intelligible speech and/or acquisition of age-appropriate feeding skills. When Should Treatment Begin? Oral Motor Therapy can begin at early feeding stages to strengthen the muscles and patterns required for feeding and swallowing. Children as young as 2 years old begin oral-motor therapy to improve feeding, decrease drooling, and improve muscle tone for articulation. Results of Treatment Changing habits requires commitment, discipline, and effort.  Within a few months, new oral muscular patterns can be developed.  With consistent practice, long lasting results can be achieved.

Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing

Meal times should be happy times! Eating should be a pleasurable activity during which important emotional, social, and communicative foundations are established. For most infants and young children, eating and swallowing occurs with ease, with little conscious thought given to the process. However, for some children, eating is difficult, even frightening. What appears to be a simple process is actually complex. As more than 26 muscles and 7 cranial nerves are involved in eating and swallowing, multiple factors may play a role in your child’s eating and swallowing problems.

 

Our Multidisciplined Approach

With our specialized training in the identification and treatment of dysphagia, oral motor dysfunction, and sensory processing disorders, our expert team of Speech-Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists provides a well–rounded sensory–motor approach to feeding therapy. After our comprehensive evaluation, therapeutic goals are carefully designed and tailored to meet the unique needs of your child. At SPS, we work closely with your child and you to address the multiple factors that contribute to mealtime difficulties.

 

Specially Designed

Our programming is designed specifically for infants, toddlers, and adolescents who have a variety of feeding and swallowing difficulties, including: dysphagia, failure–to–thrive, feeding tube dependency, oral-motor difficulties, food / oral aversion, inadequate use of utensils, and significant behavior problems during mealtime.  

 

Treatment Protocols

Given our extensive experience and knowledge of leading medical research, your child’s treatment may include some of the following:

  • Increasing volume of foods eaten
  • Cup drinking
  • Tolerating an oral diet
  • Chewing Foods
  • Self–Feeding
  • Eating a variety of textures and tastes
  • Gaining weight
  • Managing or discontinuing tube feedings
  • Regulating Sensory Processing
  • Decreasing oral and facial hypersensitivities
  • Decreasing avoidance and disruptive behaviors at mealtime
  • Generalizing eating habits to home and community endeavors
  • Improving vocal function due to GERD and LPR
  • Increasing variety of foods eaten

We welcome the opportunity to discuss our programming with you. Please contact us at 404–459–9192 to schedule a meeting at your earliest convenience.

Voice & Fluency

Voice disorders are often overlooked. Speech-Language Pathologists are trained to diagnose and treat these disorders and make appropriate recommendations to other professionals if vocal pathology is suspected. Voice disorders can be caused by neuromuscular diseases (e.g., Parkinson’s Disease), vocal over-use, acid-reflux disease, and physical pathologies of the vocal folds.

Abnormal sounding voice can also be due to problems with  resonance of the voice (e.g., hyper/hypo nasality) through the vocal tract. Some clients need to develop an understanding of how to coordinate their breathing and vocal muscles in order to produce their best quality of voice and increase awareness of vocal production.

Signs of voice abnormalities:

  • Voice that is too loud or too soft
  • Hoarse, harsh, and/or breath quality of voice
  • Pitch that is too high or too low
  • Voice that sounds too “nasal” or too “muffled”
  • Increased effort required to produce voice

SPS therapists are trained to teach vocial hygienge (e.g., preserving your voice), vocal awareness (e.g., awareness of reduced loudness or high pitch), increase vocal efficiency (e.g., improve coordination of  breathing and vocal production), and help improve overall function of voice and resonance in the daily living environment.

Fluency

Children and adults alike experience dysfluency, or what is commonly known as “stuttering.” The Speech-Language Pathologists at SPS understand that many people have undergone years of therapy for stuttering with little to no improvement. Our therapy programming is designed for the individual. Our treatment is not based on any one theory of stuttering, but on how to help the invidual take control of his or her speech fluency with the combination of brain-plasticity programming, experience, and research-based therapeutic techniques.

Signs of fluency difficulties in children and adults

  • Repeats whole words or parts of words (e.g., initial sounds)
  • Prolongs or stretches sounds within words
  • Physically struggles to produce speech
  • Feeling of not being able to “get words out”
750 Hammond Drive Building 4, Suite 100 Atlanta, Georgia 30328 404-459-9192 frontoffice@sps-atlanta.com