Lannon Twomey: Speech-Language Pathologist

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Lannon Twomey Speech Therapy - Parents: Frequently Asked Questions

Lannon Twomey: Speech Pathology With A Difference

What does a speech-language pathologist do?

A speech-language pathologist (SLP) is a highly qualified professional who evaluates, diagnoses and treats disabilities relating to speech, language, hearing, cognitive-communication, voice, fluency and swallowing. Speech-language pathologists must hold a Master's Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders which includes 350 clinical contact hours with patients. In addition, SLPs must complete a nine month clinical fellowship under the supervision of a certified speech-language pathologist to receive a certificate of clinical competence. Speech-language pathologists must maintain certification from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) and state licensing agency by completing professional development coursework or attending workshops.

My child did not qualify for speech/language services through his school. What do I do now?

A child may have a communication deficit that does not impact his or her ability to make progress in school and therefore be ineligible to receive necessary treatment through his or her school district. For example, a child may have a frontal lisp (he says /th/ for /s/ as in “dreth” for “dress”) which impacts his or her ability to interact to communicate effectively. However, if this lisp does not interfere or inhibit progress in academic subjects or impact the child's social-emotional well-being during the school day, it may be determined that he or she does not qualify to receive speech-language therapy through his or her school. In this case, pursuing private speech-language pathology may be a realistic option. The family's insurance plan may also provide speech-language therapy benefits.

Do you complete speech and language testing?

Lannon provides evaluation services. Once assessments are completed, she provides a formal written evaluation report and reviews it with the family.

Do you provide audiological evaluations or hearing tests?

No, please contact an audiologist to obtain a thorough hearing examination.

Do you contract with school districts?

Lannon has provided speech, language and auditory therapy services for many area school districts outside of the school day or year. Services have included auditory training, cochlear implant habilitation, auditory and language processing therapy and phonemic awareness training.

How much do therapy services cost?

A competitive fee schedule is available upon request. Lannon also is a provider for many Blue Cross Blue Shield and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care plans.

How do I access my health insurance?

Contact your primary care physician and insurance plan directly to inquire about speech-language therapy coverage. Your doctor or health plan can explain how to access speech-language therapy through your insurance.

When are sessions scheduled?

Lannon schedules sessions during afternoon and evening hours.

How long are treatment sessions?

Treatment session length is determined based on the child's individual needs, his/her ability to actively participate and maintain adequate attention to therapy tasks, and the objectives of the therapy session. In general, a typical session may last anywhere from 40-60 minutes.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Call Lannon at (978) 302-1020 or email her at to schedule an appointment.

How do I contact you?

Call Lannon at (978) 302-1020 or fill out the contact form with questions or inquiries.

How many sessions are necessary until remediation?

Once treatment goals are identified, each child's progress is closely monitored. The number of sessions a child needs to meet these goals is determined on a case-by-case basis.

What is home practice? What can I do at home to support my child?

As parents, you are your child's best teachers. Home practice activities may include speech sound games and drills, language modeling and enrichment activities, reading books or even strategies for language-based play. Specific home practice activities designed to address your child's goals will be described in the session note provided after each therapy session.

What is the difference between receptive and expressive language?

Oftentimes, language impairments are described using the terms receptive and expressive. Receptive language typically refers to a child's ability to understand language and expressive language refers to using spoken and written language. These two areas of language are intrinsically related. It is not uncommon for a child with a language impairment to demonstrate needs with both expressive and receptive language.

What is the difference between an articulation and a phonological disorder?

An articulation disorder impacts the motor production of a particular sound involving the physical movement and placement of the articulators. For example, a child with a frontal lisp has difficulty obtaining appropriate articulatory posturing for the /s/ sound. He or she produces the sound with the tongue positioned too far forward between the teeth. This aberrant tongue position does not result in the accurate production of /s/ but rather an error production of /th/.

A phonological disorder is a deficit in the organizational structure of sounds within a given language. Children with phonological disorders often have difficulty with groups of sounds. They may be able to produce a sound in one context but not within another. For example, a child may have difficulty with all sounds that are produced in the back of the mouth, such as /k/ and /g/. In every context where he should use a /k/ or /g/ he may produce the sound in the front of the mouth substituting /t/ or a /d/ (saying "tat" for cat). A child with a phonological disorder often presents with many sound substitutions, distortions and omissions. It is often described by the patterns the child uses in his/her language such as fronting as in the above example, stopping, final consonant deletion, backing or others.

It is possible for articulation and phonological disorders to co-occur involving characteristics of both disorders to be present in a child's speech?

Yes it is possible for a child to have both an articulation and phonological disorder. Please see the 'treatment' section for more information on this topic.

What is the difference between auditory processing and language processing?

The term processing was defined by Massaro (1975) as the ability to attach meaning to auditory stimuli. Auditory processing refers to the transfer of auditory information from the ear to the brain. It involves the ability of the auditory cortex to differentiate and effectively use the acoustic information it receives. A (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder can only be identified by an audiologist.

Language processing refers to the ability to attach meaning to or express a message by integrating both content (word knowledge) and form (grammar and morphology). While many students with language processing deficits are more challenged when required to understand information presented in an auditory-only modality, language processing is related to attaching meaning and formulating a message and not the actual reception of the acoustic signal by the ear. Language processing involves not only understanding language, but also language formulation.

Although it can be beneficial to differentiate between auditory and language processing, it is important to remember that many children with language needs can have significantly more difficulty processing information that is presented auditorily. For example, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders or children with attentional difficulties may struggle with this skill. Helping these children learn how to understand information that is presented auditorily is important.

Additional Information

The following PDF documents include helpful information about various communication topics. These are intended to provide parents additional ideas for supporting and monitoring speech, language and listening at home.