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Communicating Disorder Therapy by Open Lines in New York

Communication Disorders can permeate many aspects of day-to-day life, heightening experiences of frustration and challenge.  While therapeutic interventions are highly effective in optimizing function and improving quality of life, it’s important to understand and recognize the various ways a communication disorder can impact daily living in order to maximize treatment outcomes. In this blog post, we’ll explore various communication disorders and their impact on activities of daily living. We’ll also review the benefits of speech therapy interventions  including how specific language and cognitive-linguistic strategies can facilitate improved connections to friends, loved ones, and self, enhancing meaningful participation in life experiences. Specifically, we’ll be focusing on how the team at Open Lines Speech and Communication in New York and Los Angeles can support you in your journey towards improved overall life satisfaction.

What is a Communication Disorder?

A communication disorder is an umbrella term that refers to any difficulty understanding, processing, or expressing verbal, non-verbal, or written language. This can include a spectrum of issues related to speaking, stuttering, organizing thoughts to express ideas clearly, understanding words or sentences, following directions, or difficulty with reading or writing. Some communication disorders arise in childhood and are considered developmental while others are acquired due to injury, illness, or other progressive neurological conditions arising later in life.

What is a Language Disorder?

Language disorders refer to difficulties in understanding and using language. Language disorders may be developmental or acquired secondary to a brain injury.  

Children living with language disorders may experience difficulty understanding spoken or written language, understanding stories, expressing themselves clearly, following instructions, or engaging in conversations. They may struggle to acquire concepts, build vocabulary, or develop conventions of reading and writing at the same rate as their peers. These challenges can make learning new concepts time consuming, arduous, and frustrating and may impact a child’s ability to express the full breadth of their knowledge or negatively influence self-perceptions and confidence. When difficulties like these exist, diagnoses can be made by a licensed speech-language pathologist following a comprehensive evaluation and often in conjunction with an interdisciplinary team of learning specialists. Language disorders may be classified as mixed receptive-expressive language disorder or expressive language disorder. 

Language disorders can impact a child’s academic and social functioning, however, intervention provided by a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP) is highly effective and, in many cases, children receiving intervention will develop skills commensurate with developmental milestones. Treatment options often include speech therapy, parent and teacher education and counseling with interventions tailored to your child’s unique strengths and needs. 

When language disorders are acquired later in life, the condition is termed aphasia. For more detailed information on aphasia see our blog Can You Recover From Aphasia

What is a Speech Disorder?

Some people have difficulty producing clear speech because of neurogenic or physiological differences. People facing these challenges may have reduced strength or ability to coordinate their motor speech system for fluent, clear speech that is easy to hear and understand. This can make it challenging to order food at a restaurant, communicate over the phone, or participate easily in group conversations due to the need for increased time and effort speaking. A licensed SLP can diagnose the precise nature and cause underlying speech and voice difficulties and develop a treatment plan that improves the strength and coordination of the sub-systems of the motor-speech system for improved ease and confidence talking and increased intelligibility.

What is a Fluency Disorder?

Fluency disorders refer to difficulties with the flow, rhythm, and timing of speech. They’re characterized by disruptions in speech, such as repetitions, prolongations, or blocks of sounds and words. Stuttering is the most common fluency disorder. It affects people of all ages and can affect the ease and confidence with which they feel communicating. Without appropriate support, some fluency disorders can lead to anxiety, low self-esteem, and communication avoidance. It may impact a child’s participation in academic settings or an adult’s confidence in professional environments.

What is a Social Communication Disorder?

Social communication disorders refer to difficulties in social interaction, social communication, and social imagination. They could result from a range of conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and anxiety disorders. Children with social communication disorders may struggle to interpret social cues, initiate friendships, engage in reciprocal conversation, or engage in imaginative play. These difficulties can impact their social and emotional wellbeing, academic performance, and life quality. Treatment options include speech therapy which focuses on enhancing social participation and helping children develop meaningful friendships through education on the rules of social communication via activities and games that simulate real-life situations. This helps children better understand social concepts and verbal and non-verbal language cues as well as develop greater self-awareness and communicative confidence as they can practice these skills in a variety of scenarios.

How Do I Know if Speech Therapy is Necessary?

If you are experiencing communication difficulties that are impacting your daily life, it may be worth consulting a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP) to determine the precise nature and cause underlying your experience and to explore whether speech therapy may be beneficial. At Open Lines®, every program begins with a comprehensive evaluation with a licensed SLP who will guide you through a series of tests to gather baseline data about your communication and better understand your unique needs, strengths, and goals. Your therapist will use this information to work with you to design a personal plan of action tailored to address specific needs such as improving articulatory precision and clarity, expanding language complexity, and augmenting vocabulary, or learning strategies to manage stuttering.

How Can the Team at Open Lines Speech and Communication Help?

At Open Lines Speech and Communication, our team of experienced and expertly trained SLPs recognize that meaningful outcomes are best achieved through a care-focused approach that integrates the highest standards of evidence-based treatments with personalized materials to keep you and your loved one motivated and connected to those people and activities that matter most.

Our team understands the complexity of living with communication challenges, its impact on families, and a person’s social and emotional wellbeing which is why in addition to individual therapy, we offer a number of support groups to help keep our patients motivated, on track, and supported in every way, all along their journey.

Moreover, our licensed therapists help address concerns such as anxiety, depression, and social isolation that can arise in face of communication difficulties by introducing strategies that reduce communication breakdowns, strengthen specific communication skills, integrate compensatory language and communication tools and build mindfulness-based techniques. Our use of integrated mindfulness-based techniques enhance awareness of mind-body states and self-monitoring strategies to increase recognition of emotional and environmental factors that can impact physical tension, motivation, engagement, as well as use of language and cognitive-linguistic skills that may affect communicative success in any given situation. These various but specific speech, language, voice, and communication techniques help to optimize processing information, sharing, exchanging, and participating in life activities.

Open Lines Speech and Communication is Here to Help!

Living with a communication disorder can be challenging, but improvement is ALWAYS POSSIBLE! At Open Lines Speech and Communication, we understand the unique needs of individuals with communication disorders and are committed to providing personalized, compassionate care. Whether you’re facing a specific speech, language, voice, or swallowing challenge or seeking to improve overall communication skills, our team is here to support you.

If you’re struggling with communication difficulties, it’s time to turn to Open Lines®. Contact us via phone (212-430-6800), email [email protected], or by filling out our convenient contact form. Improve your communication skills and unlock your potential with Open Lines® Speech and Communication in New York today!

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