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Speech

A speech disorder can make it challenging to pronounce sounds when speaking and can happen for many different reasons (developmental delay, stroke, TBI, etc.) resulting in articulation errors.

Articulation disorders are difficulties with the way sounds are formed or strung together, usually revealed by substituting one sound for another (wabbit vs. rabbit), omitting a sound (coo for school), or distorting a sound (ship for sip). Extra sounds or syllables might also be added (elelephant or animamal). Articulation disorders are fairly common in young children, simply because some sounds are harder to make – like z and th – and learned later in their language-learning journey. However, most children can say almost all speech sounds correctly by age 4. What many don’t realize is that adults can also experience articulation disorders. Some have problems that started when they were children, but others may have experienced stroke, traumatic brain injury or nerve damage.

Apraxia of speech is caused by damage to the motor-speech area of the brain. The patient may know exactly what they want to say, but – due to some breakdown in the messaging system from the brain to the mouth – they might not be able to move their lips or tongue the right way to say the sounds. They may find themselves saying a similar sounding word with a completely different meaning, such as “kitchen” instead of “chicken.” The speaker knows what they want to say and may even try to fix it, only to discover they have again uttered the wrong word or even a made-up word. As you can imagine, this is extremely frustrating for the patient, but it can often be improved with therapy, patience, and practice. Any type of brain damage can cause apraxia such as a stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, dementia, and brain diseases that get worse over time.

Dysarthria is a motor-speech disorder that makes it difficult to control and coordinate the muscles we need for speech. They say actions speak louder than words, but many don’t realize that you need action to even make words! In fact, did you know it takes 100 different muscles to speak? In cases of dysarthria, the muscles of the mouth, throat and respiratory systems become weak and uncoordinated, resulting in labored, slurred, softened and slowed speech. Your voice may change, sounding hoarse, breathy or like you have a bad head cold. Any number of ailments and incidents can damage the brain and cause dysarthria, including stroke, brain injury, tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 

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Speech
Qualified therapists

Our dedicated team of speech-language pathologists are specially trained in speech therapy as it relates to cognitive-communication issues (how you listen, process, focus, remember, and communicate). We are also nationally certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, are nationally recognized by the Brain Injury Association of America and are Certified Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS). We are licensed to practice in both North Dakota and Minnesota. We believe every patient deserves the best treatment and support we can offer in every single contact and interaction with us.
 

Individual approach

We recognize that no two people have the same needs and that everyone has different learning styles. That’s why we like to call our approach “the Progressive way,” which means we will happily customize treatment plans to meet the unique needs of the individual and their family. We also believe in “the right fit” between patient and therapist, so will make every effort to match you with a clinician who connects with you, understands you, and utilizes a therapy style that is comfortable for you.

We are here to help

Depending on the goals you wish to accomplish and the learning pace that is most comfortable for you, we will arm you with the evidence-based strategies, proven skills and ample support you need to feel more organized, prepared and effective. Therapy strategies may range from recommendations for specific tools (such as timers or planners), one-on-one brainstorming and problem-solving to address concerns, therapeutic activities as well as computer trials or worksheets to help strengthen cognitive and executive functions like attention, memory, and planning.
 

Coaching with compassion

We know that working on cognitive-communication issues is hard work and that it can be easy to feel defeated or overwhelmed by the challenges of building a more efficient brain. However, you will not be in this alone. We are not just speech-language pathologists; we are fellow human beings who care about you, your journey, and your success. We don’t want an appointment to feel like you’ve been sent to the principal’s office. Instead, you’ll find a comfortable space where you’ll feel listened to and understood. And because humor makes everything more bearable, be prepared to laugh and joke a bit too!