Speech Therapy Specialist

Speech Success

Jacqueline Ahrens, SLPD, CCC-SLP

Pediatric Speech Therapist located in Emerson, NJ

Nearly 1 in 12 children has a speech, language, or swallowing disorder. Of those, one-third struggle with multiple communication problems. They can all improve with speech therapy provided by Jacqueline Ahrens, SLPD, CCC-SLP, at Speech Success. With a clinical doctorate in speech-language pathology, Dr. Ahrens has extensive experience treating autism spectrum disorder and language delays in children. She also provides comprehensive support, serving as your advocate for success at home and school. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Emerson, New Jersey, or use the online booking feature today.

Speech Therapy Q&A

What is speech therapy?

Speech therapy is a multifaceted treatment for people with speech delays and difficulty communicating. 

As a highly trained and experienced speech therapist (speech-language pathologist), Dr. Ahrens evaluates all aspects of your child's ability to communicate. Then she creates an individualized speech therapy plan that builds on their strengths and improves their ability to communicate through engaging activities.

What problems are treated with speech therapy?

Speech disorders affect how children speak and pronounce words, while language disorders occur when they struggle to understand and use words to communicate.

A few of the most common speech and language problems include:

Articulation disorders

Articulation disorders include problems making sounds and forming sounds into syllables and words. Some children don’t have the motor control to use their mouth, tongue, and jaw to create sounds.

Fluency disorders

Fluency disorders, also known as stuttering, interfere with the flow of words. A person with a fluency disorder may repeat one sound or even a whole sentence in succession. Fluency disorders can be accompanied by physical aspects such as eye blinking or head nodding.

Receptive and expressive disorders

Your child has a receptive disorder if they struggle to understand language, while expressive problems occur when they have a hard time using language to communicate.

Pragmatic language problems

Children with pragmatic language difficulties find it challenging to communicate in social situations. They may not know what to say, when to say it, or how to say it.

Cognitive communication disorders

This type of language disorder occurs when problems with attention, memory, perception, organization, and self-regulation interfere with the ability to communicate.

What causes speech and language problems?

Speech problems arise from many possible medical and developmental conditions. Some of the most common in children include:

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Oral-motor problems
  • Hearing loss
  • Genetic disorders
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Intellectual disabilities

Physical problems such as a cleft palate also affect speech.

What techniques do speech therapists use?

Dr. Ahrens uses many different exercises and activities, depending on your child's age and type of disorder. However, speech therapy always draws from playful activities that hold your child's interest while teaching skills.

When working with children who need help with motor control, Dr. Ahrens often uses PROMPT® therapy. PROMPT therapists use their hands to help children make the jaw, lip, and tongue movements needed to produce sounds and words.

PROMPT also takes a holistic approach to speech. The therapy combines the physical ability to speak with support for challenges children face with their cognitive understanding of language, social communication, and ability to connect with others.

For children who are speech delayed or have an expressive communication problem, Dr. Ahrens will use the support of PECS. This approach allows a child to communicate their wants and needs and keep frustration at bay while their speech and language are still developing. 

If your child needs speech therapy, call Speech Success, or book an appointment online today.