Speech Language Learning Systems

Speech, Language & Dyslexia Specialists
Serving St. Louis Families for over 20 Years
636-537-1576

Committed to the Development of the Whole Child.

SLLS Services - Speech Language Learning Systems

The speech-language pathologists at SLLS provide diagnostic and therapy services that can address a variety of speech language learning needs. Speech and language concerns can be evidenced in any of the following areas at the word, sentence and discourse level: Articulation, Voice, Fluency, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics.

Areas of specialty include providing a “contextualized approach” to language therapy for students experiencing listening, reading, speaking, and writing difficulties due to identified speech-language processing disorders and speech-language delays. Early childhood programming to promote receptive and expressive language development is a priority. Learning Skills Development is also available for students experiencing mild academic difficulties that would benefit from strategy instruction from language specialists. Executive Function Coaching assists students with organization skills essential to school success, including time and materials management, homework completion, test preparation, long term project planning, written expression, reading comprehension and social communication.  Integration of academic language demands into the intervention process facilitates language literacy success at the early childhood to high school levels. Speech therapy services for improving articulation skills include concerns related to developmental speech disorders, phonological speech disorders as well as apraxia of speech.  Services for speech fluency disorders or stuttering are also available. Providing pragmatic language services to those with social communication needs is an additional area of specialization. Social Communication services utilize a cognitive behavioral approach that focuses on the development of a common language for facilitating a student’s ability to think socially, as an important precursor to the development of related social skills. Social outings encourage generalization of skills to other settings.  Services are provided individually and in group settings. Summer enrichment services are also offered through our SLLS Meridian Academy which targets instruction to enhance Vocabulary, Reading, and Writing Success!

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SLLS  also offers Dyslexia Therapy services for students and adults diagnosed with dyslexia or a learning disability in the area of reading from Certified Academic Language Therapist, Special Educator / Certified Dyslexia Therapist, Lisa Cannon-Bearden, BSED, C.A.L.T.

SLLS offers therapeutic reading services facilitated through the Take Flight Program: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia. This program is based on the Orton-Gillingham model, a highly structured, sequential, multisensory, meaning-based program developed by the Luke Waites Child Development Center of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC). This program model is intended for use by Certified Academic Language Therapists (C.A.L.T.) who have completed the formal two-year training required for certification and contains five components of effective reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Activities to generalize skills to literature, spelling, and academic reading demands are also a focus of intervention.

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Screenings & EvaluationsScreenings & Evaluations

Assessment services include speech and language screenings to determine if a full evaluation of skills is warranted. Various levels of evaluation are available dependent on areas of referring concerns. 

Please call us at 636.537.1576 for more information. 

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Speech Language Therapy

Services for speech and language concerns can be evidenced in any of the following areas at the word, sentence and discourse level: Articulation, Voice, Fluency, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics.Speech Language Therapy

Areas of specialty include providing contextualized speech-language intervention for students experiencing listening, reading, speaking, and writing difficulties due to speech-language processing concerns and speech-language delays. Integration of academic language demands into the intervention process facilitates language literacy success at the early childhood to high school levels.  Speech therapy services for improving articulation skills include concerns related to developmental speech disorders, phonological speech disorders as well as apraxia of speech.  Services for speech fluency disorders are also available.  

In addition to serving students with language-based learning disabilities related to auditory processing, receptive and expressive language concerns, areas of special interest include phonological awareness and related language based reading development for students exhibiting difficulty with developing language literacy skills. 

Also an area of expertise is pragmatic language intervention for those diagnosed with Non-verbal Learning Disabilities, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Social communication intervention for student experiencing pragmatic language concerns focus a great deal on perspective taking and on developing the metalinguistic skills important to communication success. Social Communication groups are offered with specialization in serving students with average to above average cognitive abilities and those without significant behavioral concerns. Purposeful Play groups for younger children address development of pivotal skills for the acquisition of language and early conversational functioning.

Metacognitive strategies are an important component to intervention and include direct instruction in learning strategy approaches that are appropriate for students at an advanced language level in order to teach planning and self-evaluation skills important for comprehension monitoring, written language development, and regulation of social communication. 

School-based and office-based therapy is available, as well as in home programming for infants and toddlers.  Collaboration among parents, educators, and special service providers is an important component of therapy and reflects our philosophical belief that “teaming” is a key to long-term success. Consultative and school in-service presentations are also available.

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Social Communication Groups

Social Communication Groups” - The ability to reason and communicate socially with greater success is a goal of our social communication groups.Many language strategies are introduced to assist students in improving their social communication success including Pathways for Social Reasoning and Problem Solving™, Social Stories™ and Social Thinking® intervention methods.  Social Thinking® is a term coined by Michelle Garcia Winner, CCC-SLP and represents a flexible, systems-based teaching methodology consisting of curricula, vocabulary, teaching tools, and strategies for individuals aged preschool through adults. Learn more at www.socialthinking.com.  Her innovative work, along with many others such as Tony Attwood, Carol Gray (Social Stories™), Elizabeth A. Laugeson and Fred Frankel (PEERS®) has inspired the social communication services that SLLS offers. Social Communication services offered at SLLS specialize in serving students with average to above average cognitive abilities and those without significant behavioral concerns.Social Communication Groups

Groups for school aged students introduce a common language for facilitating the social cognition, an important precursor to the development of related social skills.  While development of social skills is intuitive for many individuals, those with social communication challenges may benefit from programs which facilitate their learning cognitively what others learn intuitively. The cognitive behavioral approach utilized by the licensed speech-language pathologist leading the social communication group provides the framework for stimulating students’ thinking and includes the use of a variety of motivating curriculums and strategies. While exploring social communication, students are encouraged to increase their awareness and knowledge of social vocabulary/concepts, social expectations, and behaviors that lead to successful social experiences. SLLS speech-language pathologists are licensed to serve students with social communication (pragmatic) language needs and have attended many Social Thinking® workshops. Additionally, Dana E. Gooden-Schroeder, M.A. CCC-SLP, completed the Social Thinking® Clinical Training Program (formerly called Mentor Training) in January 2009. However, SLLS programs offered, including its teacher or leader, is not affiliated with, nor has it been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by Michelle Garcia Winner and Think Social Publishing, Inc.

We are pleased to announce that SLLS staff member Megan Reynolds, M.A., CCC-SLP has been accepted to complete the Clinical Training Program Level 1 in November 2017. 

Additionally, strategies for modifying behaviors to increase social success are introduced and may target some of the following related social skills:

  • Play skill development
  • Attending
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Joining in
  • Conversational Skills
  • Turn taking
  • Making and choosing appropriate friends
  • Appropriate Use of Humor
  • Social Outings/Get Togethers
  • Good Sportsmanship
  • Teasing and Embarrassing Feedback
  • Bullying and Bad Reputation
  • Problem Solving/Handling disagreements
  • Rumors and Gossip
  • Electronic Communication

Parents are invited to attend the last 5-10 minutes of each group session for a lesson review to increase opportunities for social reasoning and communication success in environments outside the group setting. Social outings encourage generalization of skills to other settings. Individual consultations with a speech-language pathologist to supplement the group experience are also available at an hourly therapeutic rate and may be appropriate for families who desire more in-depth assistance in facilitating generalization of communication strategies introduced. A social communication screening and/or assessment is required to ensure optimal group placement. Individual programming is available.

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Dyslexia Therapy

SLLS also offers Dyslexia Therapy for students and adults diagnosed with dyslexia, or a learning disability in the area of reading, from Certified Academic Language Therapist, Special Educator / Certified Dyslexia Therapist, Lisa Cannon-Bearden, BSED, C.A.L.T., C.D.T. Lisa Cannon-Bearden completed her two-year training at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital Dyslexia Therapist Training Program in May 1997. The content and techniques are based on the original Orton-Gillingham model, through a curriculum called “Take Flight: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia”. Techniques from The Multisensory Teaching Approach and Lindamood-Bell LIPS program are also incorporated in this highly structured, sequential, multisensory, meaning-based program developed by the Luke Waites Child Development Center of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC). Additional training in Multisensory Teaching Approach (MTA), SPIRE ® Specialized Program Individualizing Reading Excellence, and Lindamood-Bell Seeing Stars® for Reading Accuracy and Fluency adds to the variety of strategies available for use in intervention. Additionally, Lisa Cannon-Bearden is one of only nine therapists in the state of Missouri with the C.D.T (Certified Dyslexia Therapist) credential.Reading Therapy

The “Take Flight” intervention model is intended for use by Certified Academic Language Therapists (C.A.L.T.) who have completed the formal two-year training required for certification and contains five components of effective reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Activities to generalize skills to literature, spelling, and academic reading demands are also a focus of intervention.

While reading intervention is individualized to meet the needs of each individual, the program offered at SLLS is based on the original Orton-Gillingham model including a phonological awareness component and can be described as a highly structured, sequential, multisensory phonics-based program that includes formally targeting reading. The structured and intensive phonetic approach to teaching reading emphasizes phonological awareness, sound/symbol relationships, word attack skills, reading accuracy, reading fluency, and linguistic patterns.

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Learning Skills DevelopmentLearning Skills Development

Learning Skills Development is also available for students experiencing mild concerns who may benefit from the use of language-based strategies to improve functioning and academic performance. Instruction in vocabulary, reading, writing, organization and time management strategies is offered.

Executive Function Coaching

Executive functions are a set of cognitive skills used for self regulating the planning, completing, and evaluation of tasks organizationally, as well as monitoring social communication exchanges. Language is used to mediate executive function skills, essential for setting goals and problem solving.

As licensed speech-language pathologists, our expertise in all areas of language offers us unique insight and training into how to target language needs that may be contributing to breakdowns in organization skills related to managing time, tasks, and materials. Developing stronger metacognitive and organized language skills can be critical factors when applying strategies that assist students in becoming more independent and organized learners. Support areas include but are not limited to: Self-Evaluation and Self-Regulation skills related to Time and Materials Management, Homework Completion, Test Preparation, Long Term Project Planning, Written Expression, Reading Comprehension, and Social Communication.

Please call us at 636.537.1576 for more information. 

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Technology-based Programs

Fast ForWord® Language Series and Fast ForWord® Literacy Series are intensive 6-week technology-based therapy programs for children and adolescents with auditory processing, language processing, and/or language-related reading challenges. Research and national field trials have continued to show positive outcomes in participants’ auditory discrimination skills, ability to follow directions, and overall language development. Fast ForWord® Reading Seriesis a technology based program also available for increasing processing efficiency and strengthening critical language-based reading comprehension and fluency skills.

Please call us at 636.537.1576 for more information. 

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SLLS Services

SLLS Meridian Academy

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