Everyone is unique. Everyone’s therapy should be, too. It’s our job to create a safe and welcoming environment for you or your child to work on the individualized goals we’ve set together.
Why is this happening now?
Experiencing difficulties with communication and/or feeding brings up tough emotions. These skills are things that our bodies should be able to do without thinking. They provide the foundation for physical health and social connection. Having problems in these areas is just plain unfair.
Sometimes we know why. Sometimes we don’t.
Speech and feeding problems sometimes arise to compensate for something else, like a tongue thrust developing because of a tongue tie or thumb sucking. Additionally, speech and feeding problems might have been developmentally appropriate at one time and simply got “stuck,” like a lisp that doesn’t go away as a child ages. Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t have an answer regarding why a challenge arises. But there’s always something we can do about it.
Is therapy really necessary?
People often begin therapy when something that wasn’t a problem becomes a problem. For example, tongue tie wasn’t a problem for your infant while breastfeeding, but the transition to solid foods has been harder and more complicated than you expected it to be.
Picky eating wasn’t a problem when your child was a young toddler, but now it is significantly impacting nutritional intake and family mealtimes. Lisps and errors on the R sound are darling in a preschooler, but not so socially acceptable in a seven-year old, teen, or adult.
Tongue thrust or tongue tie may not have been a problem when you first had braces as a teenager, but now that you’re on your second or third orthodontic plan as an adult you want to make sure that your tongue doesn’t cause any more dental problems.
It’s only a problem, if it’s a problem.
On the other hand, we’re firm believers that, “It’s only a problem, if it’s a problem.” Mild feeding and communication challenges may not adversely affect functional abilities and social interactions. But they might. It depends on the individual. We will guide you through the assessment process; and we’ll proceed based on your needs, values, and goals.
The best time to start therapy was yesterday.
Speech and feeding skills are motor plans that your brain and muscles engage in repeatedly. The longer your body repeats a motor plan, the more solidified that habit becomes in your brain and body. Changing these motor plans can be challenging. Thankfully, our brains are “plastic,” meaning they can change. This “neuroplasticity” exists across the lifespan but is strongest in children. Therefore, the sooner you start therapy, the better. However, if you are an adult reading this, don’t worry. With help, you can change, too. It’s not too late!
The first step is the hardest.
Like with most things that are good for us, the hardest part is starting. That’s why making the call is the most difficult, yet crucial, part. We are here to add direction, support, and accountability to your journey. It takes professional guidance and expertise to change unconscious and entrenched motor patterns that accompany speech and feeding challenges.
Changing ingrained habits is hard. But with the right help, it’s not only doable, it can be enjoyable and empowering!