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  • How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?
    The short version: Trust your gut. If your child communicates differently than their same-aged peers, please contact us. We also recommend reaching out to us if... They pronounce words with sounds you don't expect They are hesitant to talk because of the way they sound They reached developmental milestones late They do not babble, make noises, or engage much with other people They understand a lot, but say very little They get frustrated when they cannot communicate what they need Other people have trouble understanding your child
  • What areas of the Triangle do you serve?
    We provide speech therapy for children in their homes, daycares, schools, and community spaces in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Cary, North Carolina. We also offer teletherapy services throughout North Carolina.
  • Do you have a clinic?
    We decided to work with children in their homes, daycares, schools, and community spaces instead of a clinic: Familiar Environment: Children tend to feel more comfortable and relaxed in familiar surroundings, which helps improve their engagement and participation in therapy sessions. In a clinic, a child might feel anxious or intimidated, hindering the therapy process. Real-life Application: Conducting therapy in your child's natural environment allows the SLP to work on speech and language skills in context. Children can practice communication skills in real-life situations, such as during mealtime, playtime, or interactions with family members. This helps them quickly apply their new skills to everyday life. Family Involvement: In a home or community setting, parents and caregivers can be actively involved in the therapy process. We educate parents on how to support their child's speech and language development throughout daily routines. Cultural Sensitivity: Home-based or community-based therapy allows therapists to better understand a child's cultural and social context. This is particularly important when working with children from diverse backgrounds, as it helps the therapist tailor interventions that are culturally-sensitive and relevant. Reduced Distractions: Clinics can be noisy and filled with various distractions, which may hinder a child's ability to focus during therapy. In contrast, home or community settings can be more controlled and less overwhelming, creating a more conducive environment for therapy. Individualized Therapy: Every child is unique, and their therapy needs may vary. Home-based or community-based therapy allows SLPs to tailor interventions to the specific needs and interests of each child. This personalized approach can lead to more effective outcomes. Observation Opportunities: SLPs can observe a child's communication skills in their natural environment, gaining valuable insights into their strengths and challenges. This firsthand observation helps in creating targeted therapy plans. Convenience for Families: Families may find it more convenient to have therapy sessions conducted in their homes or nearby community spaces. This eliminates the need for additional travel (especially with siblings!) and ensures that therapy can be integrated into their daily routines more easily. Flexibility: Home-based or community-based therapy offers flexibility in scheduling. It allows SLPs to accommodate the child's and family's schedules, making it easier for therapy to fit into their daily lives. Reduced Anxiety: Some children may have anxiety or sensory sensitivities that make clinic-based therapy challenging. By conducting therapy in a familiar environment, SLPs can create a more comfortable and less intimidating experience for the child. Please contact us to discuss your family's unique needs.
  • How long is a speech therapy session?
    We generally aim for sessions that are 45 minutes long. This gives us time for: Checking in with parents about progress and home practice Warming up and regulating our bodies Direct therapy time Transitioning out of activities and discussing a plan for carryover at home Some children (such as those with more severe apraxia) require shorter and more frequent sessions. Some children need longer sessions to settle in, regulate, connect, and transition out. Please contact us to discuss your child's unique needs.
  • How long will my child need to be in speech therapy?
    The duration of speech therapy for a child can vary widely depending on several factors, including the child's specific speech and language abilities, their age, their level of motivation and engagement, the consistency of therapy, and home practice. Here are some factors to consider: Severity of Speech or Language Challenges: Children with mild speech or language difficulties may require a shorter duration of therapy, while those with more severe issues may need longer-term intervention. Age of the Child: Early intervention is often more effective. Younger children may progress more quickly than older children in therapy, as their brains are still developing rapidly. Type of Speech or Language Disorder: The specific speech or language disorder also plays a role. For example, a child with a lisp might see faster improvement than a child with a more complex language disorder. Consistency of Therapy: Regular and consistent therapy sessions, combined with practice at home, can lead to faster progress. Missing or infrequent sessions may slow down progress. Motivation and Cooperation: A child's willingness to participate in therapy and practice exercises at home can greatly impact the duration of therapy. We strive to create engaging sessions, help children feel successful, celebrate progress, and encourage children to feel in charge of their own success. Support at Home: Parent involvement and follow-through with recommended exercises and activities between therapy sessions can significantly affect the child's progress. For our youngest learners, we use a parent-coaching model to help families integrate practice into their daily routines. For older children, we work together to choose targets that are meaningful and likely to be used in high-interest interactions. The goal of speech therapy is to improve your child's communication skills and ensure they can effectively express themselves. While some children may make significant progress in a few months, others may require therapy for a year or longer. The most important thing is to provide the support your child needs to succeed in their communication journey.
  • How important is home practice?
    The short version: very, when your child is ready for it. Feedback is Important: The speech therapist will provide feedback to help your child build foundation skills. We show your child how to move their lips, jaw, and tongue to make target sounds. Once your child is consistent enough to practice at home, we will coach you in how to provide feedback to your child so you both feel more comfortable and less frustrated. Practice Makes Progress: Just like learning to ride a bike, dance, or play a sport, your child will need to practice consistently to improve. Practice in Real-Life Situations: It's important for your child to practice their speech skills in real-life situations, like talking to their siblings, making new friends, and interacting with people in their community. Communicating in a variety of meaningful environments helps them make create new neural pathways and reinforce their skills. Imagine the number of minutes your child spends in speech therapy each week. Now imagine the number of minutes your child spends communicating in their daily routine. There are so many opportunities to help your child!
  • My child does not talk yet. How can speech therapy help?
    For late-talkers, speech therapists can help build the foundation skills that come before speaking, as well as nonverbal communication skills. We work on increasing engagement with others, imitating actions/movements, play skills, receptive language skills, and recognizing communicative intent. We use a parent-coaching model that helps families incorporate language-building strategies into their daily routine.
  • What types of interventions are used for articulation and childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) therapy?
    Articulation therapy is a specialized type of speech therapy that focuses on improving the pronunciation and clarity of speech sounds. The specific interventions and techniques used in articulation therapy can vary based on the individual's age, speech sound errors, and other factors. Here are some of the approaches we use: Auditory Discrimination: In this technique, the individual is trained to recognize differences between sounds. They may listen to the clinician, recordings, or their own speech, sometimes with visual feedback to help them "see" the difference. Phonetic Placement Techniques: Speech therapists often use verbal or tactile cues to help individuals learn where to place their tongue, lips, or other articulators to create the target sound correctly. At Little Seeds Speech Therapy, we have specialized training in PROMPTs for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets and Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing, both are evidence-based methods of helping children reach their speech goals. Minimal Pairs: Minimal pair therapy involves contrasting two sounds that are similar except for one feature (usually the target sound). For example, if a person has difficulty with the "r" sound, they might practice words like "read" and "weed" to highlight the difference. Isolation, Syllable, Word, and Sentence Levels: Therapy progresses from easier to more complex tasks. Initially, we may practice the target sound in isolation (e.g., saying "s" by itself), then in syllables (e.g., "sa," "se," "si," "so," "su"), then in words, and finally in sentences and connected speech. Articulation Drills: These involve repetitive practice of the target sound in various contexts to improve accuracy and consistency. For example, your child may practice saying words, phrases, or sentences containing the target sound. We try to include targets in highly-engaging activities so it feels more like play than work. Visual Cues: Visual cues, such as mirrors and diagrams, can help individuals see the correct tongue and lip placement for producing a sound accurately. We also use technology that provides visual feedback for sounds. Auditory Feedback: Some therapy sessions may involve the use of technology, like a speech sound app, recordings, or a computer program, to provide auditory feedback and reinforce correct sound production. Phonological Awareness Activities: These activities focus on developing the individual's awareness of the sounds of language and may include tasks like rhyming, blending sounds, and segmenting words. Generalization Activities: Once your child can produce the target sound accurately in therapy, the therapist works on helping them use the correct sound in various real-life situations and conversation. Self-Monitoring: Over time, we teach each child listen to their speech and choose how they want to sound. This helps develop awareness and independence in their communication. Therapy is tailored to the specific needs of each child, based on their current sound errors and what targets will help them feel successful early in therapy.
  • What is Myofunctional Therapy?
    Myofunctional therapy is a specialized form of therapy that focuses on improving oral and facial muscle function/patterns. Here's how myofunctional therapy can help a child with a speech problem: Improved Muscle Control: Myofunctional therapy focuses on training and coordinating various muscles (tongue, lips, jaw, face, etc.). For children with speech problems, this can help them gain better control and coordination of these muscles, which are crucial for producing clear speech sounds. Correcting Tongue Placement: Some speech problems, such as lisps or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds, can be caused by improper tongue placement or movement. Myofunctional therapy can address these issues by helping them become aware of their muscles and establish consistent foundational movements for speech and swallowing. Reducing Tongue Thrusting: Tongue thrusting, where the tongue pushes forward during swallowing or speech, can contribute to speech problems and incorrect articulation. Myofunctional therapy can help children eliminate tongue thrusting habits, leading to improved speech clarity. Addressing Orofacial Muscle Imbalances: Some children may have orofacial muscle imbalances that affect their speech. Myofunctional therapy can identify and correct these imbalances, promoting better speech production. Complementary to Speech Therapy: Myofunctional therapy can complement traditional speech therapy by addressing the underlying muscle issues that may be hindering speech progress. The two therapies can work in tandem to provide a comprehensive approach to improving speech. Preventing Relapses: Myofunctional therapy can also help children develop proper muscle habits and coordination. This can reduce the likelihood of relapses or the return of speech problems after they have been corrected through speech therapy. It's important to note that myofunctional therapy is typically conducted by trained myofunctional therapists who assess the child's specific needs and design a personalized treatment plan.
  • What is augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)? Do you use AAC?
    Many children with motor speech disorders, cerebral palsy, autistic children, and anyone facing communication challenges understand more than they can communicate verbally. They have a world of ideas to express and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can help them share their experiences with the people around them. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes a wide variety of communication methods and supports. Some individuals communicate through gestures, symbols, pictures, or technology, and each mode of expression deserves to be heard, respected, and appreciated. Some children use AAC temporarily as their verbal speech improves. Some children use it throughout their lives. We use AAC as needed to support children and families wherever they are on their communication journeys.
  • Do you offer teletherapy?
    Yes! Our providers are licensed to provide teletherapy across North Carolina. This means we can serve remote/rural areas, families with mobility or transportation challenges, and maintain consistent local sessions when a family member is sick.
  • Is Teletherapy effective?
    Teletherapy, or providing services virtually, can be effective for many children who need speech therapy. However, its effectiveness can vary depending on several factors: Technology and Environment: Both the child and therapist need access to the appropriate technology, a quiet environment with few distractions, and a reliable internet connection. Technical issues, such as poor video quality or audio disruptions, can hinder the effectiveness of teletherapy sessions. Engagement: Children must actively participate and engage in teletherapy sessions. For some children, virtual therapy feels like play and they make progress quickly. Others may struggle to focus during remote sessions. Individual needs: You may be surprised what we can do virtually! Before deciding whether your child is a good candidate for teletherapy, please contact us. We are happy to talk about options for children who have vision/hearing impairments, limited mobility, etc. Family support: Family members can greatly influence the success of teletherapy. For early intervention, parents are involved in every session. For older children, having a parent nearby for technical support may be enough. Please contact us to discuss your child and family's unique needs.
  • Are you a NCSEAA-approved provider?
    Yes! Little Seeds is an approved provider for the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA), which provides funding to children with disabilities for services such as speech therapy. We automatically generate an invoice for each session so that families can make payments via ClassWallet.
  • How much does speech therapy cost?
    For our current evaluation and individual therapy session rates, please visit our services page. The duration and frequency of speech therapy, based on each child's unique needs, will determine the overall cost.
  • What payment methods can I use?
    We accept debit cards, credit cards, and HSA cards (please check with your plan to see if this is an option for you). Sessions are charged automatically at the end of each session, so you don't have to worry about invoices or logging in to make payments. We are also happy to announce that Little Seeds is a NCSEAA-approved provider and can accept payments via ClassWallet.
  • Why don't you accept insurance?
    At Little Seeds Speech Therapy, we understand that many families rely on insurance coverage to access healthcare services. However, we have decided not to accept insurance at this time for several important reasons: Focus on Quality of Care: Our top priority is providing the highest quality care to every child we serve. By not dealing with insurance billing and paperwork, we can concentrate our efforts on delivering personalized and effective speech therapy services without the constraints and limitations often associated with insurance companies. Flexible Treatment Plans: Every child is unique, and their speech therapy needs can vary significantly. Without the constraints imposed by insurance companies, we can create customized treatment plans tailored to each child's specific needs. This flexibility allows us to provide the most effective therapy without being bound by insurance-defined treatment duration/frequency, intervention methods, or other restrictions. Reduced Administrative Time / Wait time: Dealing with insurance claims, approvals, and denials can be a time-consuming and resource-draining process. By remaining independent from insurance networks, we can focus our time and resources on learning innovative and effective treatment interventions and focus on patient care. We also have decreased wait times for services and can begin therapy quickly after the initial evaluation. Privacy and Confidentiality: Some families appreciate the added privacy and confidentiality that comes with not involving insurance companies in their child's healthcare. Without insurance claims, the details of a child's therapy remain between the therapist, the child, and their family. Affordability and Transparency: We work to keep our services as affordable as possible. By not accepting insurance, we can offer transparent pricing and payment options to our families, helping them understand the costs upfront without the uncertainty of copayments, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses associated with insurance plans. Access to Out-of-Network Benefits: Many insurance plans offer out-of-network benefits that can reimburse families for some or all of our services. We are more than happy to provide a superbill for an additional fee to assist families in seeking reimbursement from their insurance providers. Please remember to check with your insurance provider before therapy begins to see if this is an option for your plan. Focusing on Your Child's Needs: Ultimately, our decision not to accept insurance allows us to focus on what matters most: providing comprehensive, individualized speech therapy that yields meaningful results for your child. We believe that this approach ensures the best outcomes for the children we serve. If you have any questions about our payment policies, please contact us.
  • What is a Superbill?
    A superbill for speech therapy is a detailed invoice that includes the specific procedures, diagnosis codes, and other relevant information needed by insurance companies. Some insurance companies accept superbills as documentation to reimburse families for some or all of their out of network services. Litttle Seeds is able to generate a superbill for an additional fee. Please remember to check with your insurance company before beginning speech therapy to see if this is an option for your plan.
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