posted May 19, 2015, 1:50 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 19, 2015, 1:51 PM ]
Nico is a delightful 6 year old young man who has been attending the San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Disorders Clinic twice per week.  Nico is currently in kindergarten, has two older brothers and loves to play games.  He and his family have been a delight to work with over the course of his treatment here at the clinic.
Nico has what was previously classified as a severe articulation disorder.  It was highly difficult to understand his speech, even for those familiar to him such as his family members.  Nico has a long history of speech and language services.  He has been seen by many different speech and language therapists over the years due to staffing changes.  His mother felt it had been hard for him to progress in his treatment because it had been interrupted so many times by changes in the consistency of his therapy services.
Nico is a normally developing, healthy boy and his articulation disorder has been the only concern in his development.  It’s impossible to put a reason or cause to his problem.   Nico has had difficulty with many phonological processes which have caused his speech to be hard to understand.   Phonological processes are the patterns that some young children use while their speech and language are developing.  It is a way for children to make sounds “easier” to produce.  At certain ages, we expect these processes to stop and for children to begin making the correct speech sounds.  If children continue to use these processes and are using many different ones, their speech can become difficult to understand.  For example, children may leave off the final consonant from words, so “soap” becomes “so.”  Sounds are divided into different classes depending on their features and how they are produced.  Phonological processes are produced when sound features are changed or sounds within one class are substituted for another.  Nico was using many of these processes and as his language skills were growing, he had a lot to say.  Unfortunately because of these sound errors, it became increasingly difficult to understand him.
Nico has worked on a mixture of treatment goals targeting his error sounds as well as oral motor exercises to help support the development of his target sounds.  He has made tremendous progress and is currently working on more complicated sounds such as “th, r, and s.”
Nico’s family was referred by a friend whose child also attended the clinic.  His mom noted that before treatment began, Nico had a lot to say but it was very hard to understand him.  This became a source of frustration for both Nico and his family.  His mother stated, “Now he knows cues to make himself clear.  He also knows how to speak slower and has more confidence when speaking.”  She also reported that, “Our family has much less frustration because we can understand more of what he has to say.  Everyone isn’t always looking to mom to translate.”  Nico’s mom stated that “He loves coming to therapy, playing games, getting homework and his therapists.”  She said, “We have been so happy here and feel so blessed by the opportunity to have our son receiving speech therapy through the Scottish Rite.”