Children’s Clinic Articles

From the Clinic (January 2018)

posted Jan 8, 2018, 2:11 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Lucas and Marco are fun-loving brothers who have been attending the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic to address an articulation disorder. Lucas, aged 10, and Marco, aged 8, each have lateralized distortions of /s/ and /z/, which makes their speech sound slushy. Otherwise known as a lateral lisp, this type of error typically develops due to jaw instability which results in airflow that escapes from the sides of the mouth verses the front of the mouth. Unlike some errors in children’s speech, lateralized air-flow requires remediation as it is not considered a developmental error.  Without remediation a lateral lisp will not go away. Thus, it’s important to get speech therapy as soon as possible. 

Marco and Lucas have worked very hard on their speech skills. When the boys first started speech they needed to learn placement of their lips, tongue and jaw to produce clear /s, z/. Over time they have achieved success with structured treatment tasks and are now working on carrying over their skills to conversational speech. They are utilizing a program purchased for our clinic to help keep us on the cutting edge of therapy techniques. The program is called SATPAC (Systematic Articulation Training Program Accessing Computers) which utilizes a metronome, wordlists specifically tailored to a child’s needs and helpful carryover homework to provide to families. Lucas and Marco are using the program effectively and are nearly ready for discharge. We are so proud of their hard work and dedication! 

Lucas and Marco’s mother recently expressed her gratitude for the services that her children have received and continue to receive, “The Scottish Rite clinic can help so many children to communicate clearly and strive to excel at school…We are grateful to have the professional speech therapy without the worry of bills, costs, [and] insurance with other healthcare services. Thank you Scottish Rite for making it easier to give my boys the best chances of success. The gift and skills of good speech is a necessity especially in the Silicon Valley.”


From the Clinic (December 2017)

posted Dec 13, 2017, 3:17 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Isaiah is a cute, funny, and talkative four-almost-five-year old boy, who loves to play with his brother, sister, and his dog, Bambi. Isaiah has been attending speech therapy services at the San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic to address his speech intelligibility starting February 2017 with Ms. Karen. Isaiah’s speech intelligibility was significantly reduced due to multiple speech sound substitutions. He was especially having difficulty producing the /k/ and /g/ sound due to a phonological process called “fronting,” in which children produce sounds made in the back of the mouth with the front of the mouth instead, such as producing /t/ for /k/ and /d/ for /g/. Isaiah has worked very hard toward his goals and has made significant progress since February. Isaiah enjoys earning play time with activities such as board games and basketball after working hard on producing his tricky sounds. He has gained the ability to make many new sounds since beginning therapy here. He is now able to produce the /k/ and /g/ sounds, which were the most challenging for him. His mother said they are now his favorite sounds to practice at home.

Isaiah was first referred to our clinic when his grandmother told his mother about it. She had heard of our clinic from having worked for a school district. Isaiah’s mother said that before receiving services at our clinic “his speech wasn’t very clear and she was having difficulty understanding him. Now I can understand him and I am confident he will do well in Kindergarten.” She said that the most rewarding thing has been “Feeling that he is moving towards his age-appropriate goals and more is awesome! Hearing him going from not being understand and us guessing what was said to actually knowing what he’s saying is the best!” Isaiah’s mother ended by saying, “The program is great. I feel like our family got a lot out of it. Families should hear more about this hidden gem.”


From the Clinic (November 2017)

posted Nov 10, 2017, 9:39 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Brielle is a beautiful six-year-old girl who began
receiving services
here at our clinic at the beginning of summer 2016. She has been working mostly on her articulation skills such as producing her /s/, “sh,” and /r/ sounds twice a week with Ms. Jenna. Brielle tends to distort her /s/ and “sh” sounds by blocking the air that is coming through her teeth or not pushing her air through hard enough. We are working on producing these sounds accurately, and she is
improving each day! You may be thinking, “Wow, she is already working on /r/ at such a young age?” Well,
surprisingly children should be producing /r/ at the beginning of their words at age 3! It did take her a while to get a good /r/ sound, but now she is on a rrrrroll! Each day her /r/ is sounding better and better in her conversation!! She is also practicing irregular past tense verbs, and answering “who” questions. She is learning new words every day! She loves to earn goldfish crackers and water breaks for her hard work! Brielle has got a great imagination and enjoys playing with the animals from our toy room at the end of her speech therapy sessions.

Sally, Brielle’s mother heard about our clinic through her sister who brought her son here in the past. In addition to Sally’s nephew being seen at this clinic, Ms. Jenna also got the pleasure of working with Brielle’s big sister! Before receiving services at our clinic Sally noted that some of Brielle’s, ”words were very distorted, but now she is doing so much better. It is easier for everyone to understand her.”

Sally also commented, “It has been a very positive experience at the Scottish Rite Clinic and we are so grateful. I tell people all the time about how great this clinic is. Ms. Jenna has been so sweet. We love her!  Thanks to the Scottish Rite Center for providing this service. “ Brielle’s clinician is hopeful that she will meet all her speech therapy goals in the very near future! Keep up the awesome work Brielle!


From the Clinic (October 2017)

posted Oct 6, 2017, 11:26 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Ana is a sweet, bright-eyed six year old girl who has been attending the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic to address a language and articulation disorder. When Ana first started at our clinic her mother reported that Ana had a very small vocabulary and was often frustrated because she couldn’t express herself.  Ana has made exceptional progress since the initiation of treatment. She has developed her receptive language skills to follow directions and her expressive language skills so that she can clearly formulate her ideas and thoughts. Her mother reported that since treatment began Ana has blossomed socially and emotionally. Currently, Ana is working toward mastering her articulation goals. She is working with a program called SATPAC, which uses a variety of techniques to work on tongue placement for sounds, such as /r/ and /s/ among others. Ana has progressed quickly and always has a great attitude about doing her work during speech therapy time.

Ana’s family has been a blessing to our clinic.  Her parents continuously donate toys and therapy materials to our clinic. Her mother stated recently that “we are deeply grateful to Scottish Rite, the support they give to all children is wonderful...being in [the] Scottish Rite is being in the right place. Infinite thanks for all your help.” Ana has been and continues to be such a joy to work with. We are looking forward to the day she graduates from therapy, but until then we will continue to have fun playing and learning!


From the Clinic (September 2017)

posted Aug 31, 2017, 2:36 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Kian is a shy and playful 3 year old boy who has been attending speech therapy services at the San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders clinic since December 2016. He was referred to this clinic by his pediatrician due to speech and language delays associated with his diagnosis of Fragile X syndrome.

Kian’s mother reported that with the exception of saying “I want _____,” he was mostly speaking in single words and using very few multi-word phrases. Kian is now beginning to use more multi word phrases. He enjoys targeting his language skills including imitation and utterance expansion while playing basketball, soccer, finding objects in the bean box, and building towers. Kian’s therapy was focused on improving his ability to identify body parts, colors, and to follow one-step directions. He is now ready to target producing longer utterances and questions and to address some articulation concerns. Kian is becoming more independent with following routines and with initiating requests for preferred activities. He has also become more independent and friendly with the other children and family members at the clinic and is initiating greeting or interacting with them.

Kian’s parents say that they are very grateful that the clinic exists and that they were able to have these services available to him so that there was not a gap in speech therapy services after he was no longer eligible for services through Early Start after turning 3 years old. We are so happy to have Kian and his cheerful smile here with us!


From the Clinic (August 2017)

posted Aug 2, 2017, 10:52 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Mason received services at our clinic between the ages of three and four-and-a-half. Initially, Mason worked on some articulation skills, such as producing three syllable words, /w/, /l/ and l-blends, and /s/-blends at the beginning of his words. To his clinician’s surprise, after five months, he quickly learned and used these words and sounds in conversation! He worked very hard in his twice a week speech therapy sessions on having expected behaviors, following 2-step directions, using age appropriate vocabulary and irregular past tense verbs. We would typically spend our time doing directions involving body movements such as, “Sing part of a song and then take a bow.” These types of directions tended to be a bit more challenging for him then table-top tasks such as, “Find the dinosaur with the spikey tail on your paper (amongst three other different dinosaurs) and color him green.” Mason needed lots of repetitions and support to be able to follow directions involving his body movements.  We would often target producing irregular past tense verbs such as, “saw,” “hit,” “hurt,” and “went,” while playing with animal toys. He enjoyed having his toy penguin dive into the bean box and yelled, “The penguin went into the beans!” Mason would always have a smile on his face and was happy to see his clinician each week. Although he was seen for his full 18 months here, his clinician decided that since he continues to need to work on several goals, he will be put back at the end of the treatment waiting list, to be seen at a later time. His clinician is hoping that even though he is not working on these goals with her, he is still thinking and learning about them. Sometimes all we need is a little break. J And who knows! Maybe by the time he is seen here again, he will be able to do and say the things we practiced on his own without a hitch! Hope to see you soon Mason!


From the Clininc (July 2017)

posted Jul 10, 2017, 4:14 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Ty is one cool kid. When he first started at our clinic he was nearly unintelligible. He often cried because he wasn’t understood by anyone but his mom, which often made him so upset that he would completely shut down. Often children with a history of Childhood Apraxia of Speech or CAS have such difficulty with their sound systems that therapy is a long, arduous process. And frequently, the services they should be receiving in the public school system do not provide enough treatment. The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) that monitors the certifications of Speech-Language Pathologists indicates that children with CAS need speech up to five times per week. We are so fortunate that the San Jose Scottish Rite can step in to fill the gaps where schools and health insurances don’t. Ty received the speech treatment that he needed in order to now be ready for discharge! It has been a pleasure watching his speech and language grow and mature! I am truly honored that I had the opportunity to work with him and his family. He wrote me a little note on his last day recently, which made my heart smile. We wish you a lifetime of blessings, Ty and family!

Dear Miss Rachel,

Thank you for all your help. You have helped me so much. You helped me get passed [past] tons of other sounds. Thank you. I hope you have a great summer with your boys. You’re the best! - Ty


From the Clinic (April, 2016)

posted Apr 1, 2016, 1:25 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 1:26 PM ]

J. is a sweet six year old girl who has been seen at our clinic seondary to a mild articulation delay. J.’s mother heard about the clinic through a friend. When she first brought J. to our clinic she reported that J.’s friends were having a hard time understanding her. J.s mom observed that J. “dropped a lot of syllables in conversation”, which she said made it hard for J. to make friends. 
J. was evaluated at our clinic and was found to have a mild articulation disorder. However, her receptive and expressive language skills were within the average range or even in the above average range. Thus, therapy focused on improving the sounds missing in her phonemic repertoire, which included /l, sh, th/and /r/. Since therapy started J.’s mom has observed that “She is more aware of her own speech and [can] apply new skills to make words more clear.” J. has met all of her articulation goals except for /r/ and /th/, but she is well on her way to meeting her goals for these sounds too in the next few months! 
Often kids can feel bad about their speech when others don’t understand them. While we may not always hear children with speech and language issues state their feelings about their speech, we can observe their feelings in their actions and interactions with others. J.’s mom stated that since therapy started “She smiles more and is more confident with herself. She talks more. We have less miscommunication at home.”  
J.’s parents are so grateful for the services she has received at our clinic: “We definitely will tell other parents about this clinic. We are so thankful for the previous parent who shared this information. We were not sure where to turn... There was no way for us to pay for this kind of service ourselves. And the teacher here is so phenomenal. I see a big improvement in my daughter’s speech in just a few months as we were struggling with the same things for the previous two years. Thank you for blessing us with this service.”

From the Clinic (March, 2016)

posted Apr 1, 2016, 12:24 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 12:24 PM ]

E. is a delightful 4 year old boy who visits our clinic once a week for speech and language treatment.  He comes through the door with a smile on his face and walks straight back to the treatment room, ready to work! E. lives at home with his parents and big brother.  Some of his favorite activities include going to parks, bike riding, hiking, puzzles, play cars and taking baths.  The family was referred to our clinic by family friends who had previously attended.
E.'s mother stated " Our son was a 4 year old who could speak about 100 word approximations which could only be understood by our immediate family.  The breadth of his vocabulary was limited as he was adopted from China and had only been exposed to English for 18 months.  He was able to say some 2 word phrases." 
In November of 2015, E. was seen for his first treatment session and in 3 1/2 months, his progress has been tremendous. When he started, E. had a very limited sound repertoire.  He was using about 8-10 consonant sounds.  His speech consisted mainly of syllables marked by vowel sounds with the occasional consonant mixed in.  In addition to speech that was quite difficult to understand, E. also demonstrated receptive and expressive language skills that were low for his age.   
"What a difference it has made," E.'s mom reports,  " He can now say well over 150 word approximations, uses 4-5 word phrases and sentences and is developing syntax pairing subjects with verbs and his confidence has grown.  He can communicate more of his needs and desires with greater ease and less frustration, which makes for less guessing on our part.  He finds joy in successfully communicating something new, which brings delight to everyone."
Soon after treatment was initiated, E. began to use new consonants and with greater frequency.  It didn't take him long to develop understanding that communication gives him power, allows him to make choices, requests and have fun with those around him.  He is a very interactive little boy and was right from the start.  He just need a more reliable way to communicate to the world.  
Treatment has focused on forming words with different consonant-vowel patterns and to increase the amount and types of words he can use, to form phrases of increasing length.   
Thanks in great part to E.'s loving and supportive family, he is quickly meeting his goals and is becoming ready to move on to more difficult language based goals, in addition to his articulation work.   E.'s mother reported, "My husband and I feel so blessed to have found this clinic for our son as he greatly needs speech services and private therapy is so expensive.  We can't believe we found such a professional and caring speech clinic close to our home, where E. can receive the help he needs." 

From the Clinic (February, 2016)

posted Mar 11, 2016, 4:21 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Mar 11, 2016, 4:21 PM ]

T. is a fun, charismatic 7 year old boy who has been seen at the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic for the past seven months. His mother brought him to the clinic due to difficulties with his articulation. Specifically, T. was demonstrating a fronted /s/ distortion that made his speech sound slushy. His mom reported that “T. was difficult to understand at times. He struggled with other kids at the park and elsewhere.”
Since treatment began at our clinic, T. has made excellent progress. He has worked with a program called “Straight Speech” in which the /t/ sound is used to facilitate the correct tongue position. The phonemes /s/ and /t/ have the same place of articulation. Thus, for a child who has difficulty figuring out the placement and airflow for /s/, this can be helpful. The program goes through a variety of steps including using a straw to produce centralized, sharp airflow. T. has worked very hard since treatment began.
His mother has noticed an improvement not only in his sound production, but she has noticed an improvement in his social relationships too! She commented that T. “has improved immensely. He’s more self-aware...We have the tools to help him and he can recognize when he needs to be more clear.” T. is such a fun kid to work with. He’s always showing off his dance moves, artistic abilities, and caring for other kids in the clinic. He is truly such a joy to see for therapy. His mother is pleased with the services at our clinic too. She stated, “The caring that is displayed by the therapists is exactly what a parent is looking for.” We appreciate you, too, T. and family!

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