Signature Therapy Approaches

As part of our commitment to providing quality service, many of our staff members have received additional training in order to offer highly sought-after therapy approaches to our clients. Please see below for a list of these approaches offered at S.L. HUNTER SpeechWorks.

Accent Reduction

Accent reduction is the process of lessening the intensity of a regional or first-language accent when speaking English. The treatment involves three steps: recognition, reproduction and repetition. Accent reduction programs can be beneficial for those people who find their accent is holding them back in the workplace or who are struggling to learn the slang or “lingo” of social conversation in English.

Family Communication Skills Therapy

Family Communication Skills Therapy is a combined indirect and direct treatment approach for children who stutter (aged seven to fourteen years) and their families. This approach focuses on developing the family’s awareness of communication skills and helping the family make changes that will support the child’s fluency. Family Communication Skills Therapy also helps the child who stutters develop awareness of communication skills and seeks to increase his or her communication confidence. This approach encourages responsibility by involving the child in the decision making and goal setting process. Working with the child and his/her family also sets the foundation for further speech management work if needed.

Fast ForWord

The Fast ForWord program is a reading program designed for K-12 students who are struggling and reading below grade level. The Fast ForWord program develops and strengthens memory, attention, processing rate, and sequencing—the brain skills essential for reading success. The strengthening of these skills results in a wide range of improved critical language and reading skills such as phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, decoding, working memory, syntax, grammar, and other skills necessary to learn how to read or to become a better reader.

Fluency Plus Program

The Fluency Plus Program was developed for the child who has confirmed stuttering. The program is effective if the child is fully aware of the speech issue and is able to discuss it and answer questions about it. Depending on the age of the child, a full or modified program may be of benefit. The child focuses on targets that emphasize the specific speech muscle movement skills necessary to produce fluent speech. This program also delves into the psychological/ anxiety aspects of stuttering for a comprehensive therapeutic approach to improving fluency. Family support and follow through with activities and practice exercises is also extremely important for the child to succeed in the program.

The Hanen Program® – It Takes Two To Talk®

This program is designed to teach parents of young children practical strategies on how to improve their child’s langauge and communication skills. Parents learn ways to improve their child’s communication skills during everyday activities such as playtime, mealtime, and bath routines.

The Hanen Program® – More Than Words®

This program is for parents of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Parents will learn how to help their child understand language, interact in meaningful ways with other children and adults, and how to develop early social skills. Practical strategies and activities are used to help your child learn to communicate successfully with others.

The Kaufman Speech Praxis Treatment (KSPT) Approach

The KPST approach is designed for children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). This approach simplifies the task of producing spoken language by teaching word approximations as a starting point using sounds the child is able to produce. From these word approximations children become successful at conveying meaningful messages and they can then progress to producing whole words, phrases, and sentences.

Lidcombe Program for Early Intervention for Stuttering

The Lidcombe Program is a behavioural treatment for young children who stutter administered by a parent/caregiver in the child’s everyday environment. Parents learn how to do the treatment during weekly visits to the speech pathologist as they are taught, observed, and given feedback. It involves the parent commenting directly about the child’s speech; but is largely positive, with the parent commenting primarily when the child speaks without stuttering and only occasionally when the child stutters. The parent does not comment on the child’s speech all the time, but chooses specific times during the day in which to give the child feedback. The Lidcombe Program is conducted in two stages – direct treatment and maintenance.

Palin Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCT)

PCI is a combined indirect and direct treatment approach for young children who stutter (aged seven years and under) and their families. This approach helps parents identify what they are already doing that supports their child’s fluency. It aims to increase the parents’ confidence and skills in managing their child’s stuttering. Sessions are play-based and incorporate video feedback and facilitated discussions to help parents support their child’s fluency.

PROMPT

PROMPT is a technique used to assist with the planning and sequencing of speech sounds in words. The therapist physically stimulates the oral muscles through touch and pressure, in conjunction with targeting auditory and visual awareness. Examples of individuals who may benefit from PROMPT include those with phonological delays, developmental delays, motor-planning/coordination difficulties, dysarthria, dyspraxia, hearing impairment, autism spectrum disorder, and dysfluency.

Sara Rosenfeld Johnson (Oral Placement Therapy)

Oral Placement Therapy is a type of oral-motor therapy used to target specific movements needed for speech clarity and feeding. It can be used with a variety of clients, including those with Down Syndrome. This therapy differs from traditional speech therapy in that the strategies continue to utilize auditory and visual stimuli (e.g. “listen, look, and do what I do”) while adding the tactile and proprioceptive sensory systems. This allows the client to feel the movements as well as hear and see them.

Social Thinking

Social Thinking is an innovative approach (based on the work of Michelle Garcia Winner) focused on helping individuals think strategically in social situations through observing and considering their own and others’ thoughts and feelings. It bridges the connections between thoughts, feelings and behaviours paving the way for transferrable social skills. Social Thinking sheds light on academics. Children who struggle in conversation struggle to understand literature, not due to a lack of core skills in reading fluency and decoding, but rather in perspective taking. When individuals are unable to interpret others’ perspectives, they may struggle with developing meaningful relationships. Social Thinking breaks down social concepts so that we can convey them in ways that are practical and logical. Programming is available to children (aged 4 and up with adequate language capabilities), adolescents, and adults.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

SFBT is an approach to stuttering intervention that can be useful for teenagers and adults. Treatment sessions involve discussions that are solution-focused, with an emphasis on identifying the individual’s strengths and resources that can be used to facilitate change and achieve their goals or “preferred futures.” The process of therapy involves identifying problem patterns, establishing goals, exploring strengths and solutions, emphasizing positive coping and predicting, and preparing for relapse. Rating scales are used throughout therapy to provide objective measures of change.