• Articulation

    The action of forming clear and distinct speech sounds, which involves pronouncing sounds correctly and using the correct volume of your voice.

  • Attention

    The ability to focus on a task or activity.

  • Auditory processing

    How the brain interprets and makes sense of sounds heard by the ears. This includes skills like filtering, which enable you to tune out background noise to focus on a particular sound (like your friend speaking to you in a crowded room).

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device

    Any of the tools that are used to help people who have trouble with speech or language be able to communicate their ideas clearly to others. These can be electronic devices, like tablets that produce speech sounds, or non-electronic devices, like a whiteboard that the person can write on to communicate.

  • Balance

    The ability to maintain a stable body position without falling over, which is needed for activities like standing and walking.

  • Behavioral feeding challenges

    Any struggles a child has around mealtimes that results in behaviors like refusal, aggression, fear, etc. This could be due to picky eating, sensory feeding struggles, difficulty swallowing, or other conditions that can impact a child’s behavior at mealtimes.

  • Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS)

    Difficulty coordinating the movements of the mouth, tongue, and throat needed for speech. With CAS, children know what they want to say, they simply have trouble saying it.

  • Cluttering

    Rapid or disorganized speech patterns that can be difficult to understand.

  • Cognitive skills

    The ability to use the mind to think, learn, focus, remember, and solve problems.

  • Coordination

    Smooth and controlled movements of the body, especially when using multiple parts together.

  • Developmental delay

    When a child is behind their peers on reaching one or more developmental milestones for their age. Their achievement of these milestones can slow down (it becomes harder for them to achieve the next milestone, i.e., they can crawl but struggle to walk), it can stop (they remain at their current developmental level and don’t progress as they get older), or it can reverse (i.e., they start to develop a new skill like walking, but then revert back to crawling).

  • Developmental milestones

    These are the abilities and behaviors that children typically have or achieve by their age. Developmental milestones are based on decades of research and give the average age by when most children will achieve specific skills.

  • Dysphagia

    Difficulty swallowing that can cause discomfort, pain, choking, or other difficulties when eating or drinking.

  • Early intervention

    This term has two meanings: 1) publicly-funded programs that make specific therapy and education services available to children from birth through age 3 who have developmental delays or disabilities, or 2) a general term to describe taking fast action to support a child’s growth and development as soon as the need for intervention (pediatric therapy) is noticed.

  • Evidence-based

    Supported by a large amount of scientific research that guides treatment based on the best, most current evidence that the treatment is effective.

  • Expressive language

    The ability to use language to share your thoughts and ideas clearly with others.

  • Feeding therapy

    A specialized type of therapy designed to help children improve their ability to chew, swallow, nurse, self-feed, and tolerate a variety of textures and flavors of food. The goal is to increase a child's nutritional intake and ability to enjoy mealtimes.

  • Fine motor skills

    The ability to make small and precise movements using muscles in the hands and feet for tasks like writing and buttoning clothes.

  • Fluency

    Smooth and flowing speech that is easy to understand.

  • Holistic

    A treatment approach that considers the whole person and their circumstances as opposed to addressing the current injury, disease, delay, etc. Holistic pediatric therapy looks at the child’s current skills and limitations, their home and school environments, their family, their personal goals, and much more to provide the most comprehensive treatment possible.

  • Hypersensitive

    The condition of being more sensitive than others to sensory input such as touch, sound, or taste.

  • Hyposensitive

    The condition of being less sensitive than others to sensory input, requiring more stimulation to notice things.

  • Intake Coordinator

    The clinic staff member who greets new patients and helps them through the admission process to start therapy by collecting their personal contact information, medical history, and insurance information.

  • Language therapy

    A specialized type of therapy designed to help children develop and improve their ability to use and understand written and spoken language. The goal is to increase a child's ability to communicate their ideas and understand others.

  • Learning disability

    Specific challenges a student faces in gaining new knowledge or skills, usually related to understanding or using spoken or written language (including mathematics). The most common example of a learning disability is dyslexia, a condition that makes it difficult for someone to identify and use speech sounds and letters when reading or writing.

  • Modeling

    Demonstrating a behavior or skill for someone to imitate.

  • Motor planning

    The ability to plan and execute purposeful movements, such as walking, picking something up, etc.

  • Multidisciplinary

    A treatment approach that combines more than one specialty or field of study. For example, a child may have a multidisciplinary treatment plan with guidance from their occupational therapist, feeding therapist, and pediatrician.

  • Muscle tone

    The natural tension in muscles at rest which affects posture and movement and keeps the muscles healthy.

  • Occupational therapy

    A specialized type of therapy designed to help children develop and improve the skills needed for daily activities. Occupational therapists work with children to address challenges in areas such as fine motor skills, sensory processing, self-care, and play. The goal is to enhance a child's ability to participate in activities at home, school, and in the community, promoting independence and overall well-being.

  • Oral motor skills

    The ability to coordinate the muscles in the mouth for tasks like eating and speaking. This includes the tongue, throat, lips, and jaw.

  • Outpatient clinic

    A clinic where patients are not admitted for long-term stays but instead attend appointments one or more times per week and return home at the end of each appointment.

  • Pediatric therapy evaluation

    The first appointment a child has with their pediatric therapist, done to evaluate their current skills and limitations and establish their treatment goals. The evaluation can include: detailed medical history, discussion with parents or caregivers, and a comprehensive assessment of the child’s developmental skills.

  • Picky eating

    Extremely selective or limited food intake that often affects a child’s nutritional intake, growth, or overall health.

  • Plan of care

    A written outline of the steps that a medical professional should take to properly care for a patient’s specific needs. In pediatric therapy, this would be the basic treatment plan your child’s therapist will follow to help them achieve their developmental goals.

  • Pronunciation

    The way words are spoken, which includes using the correct sounds. For example, saying the word espresso as “es-press-oh” instead of “ex-press-oh.”

  • Proprioception

    The sense of awareness of your body position and movement, which allows you to move freely without having to think about every single action of movement you take.

  • Range of motion

    The extent of movement possible in a joint, which impacts flexibility and strength.

  • Receptive language

    The ability to understand and comprehend spoken or written language.

  • Referral

    A recommendation from a physician for a patient to receive additional medical care from a specialist. For example, your primary care doctor may give you a referral to see a physical therapist for help recovering after an injury.

  • Reflex integration

    The process of helping a child develop and mature by addressing and integrating primitive reflexes, the automatic, involuntary movements that are present in infants. These reflexes typically integrate (or come under the child’s voluntary control) as a child grows. If these reflexes persist beyond their usual length of time, they can interfere with a child's development and everyday activities.

  • Sensory aversion

    Strong dislike and avoidance of certain sensory experiences, such as textures, smells, or sounds. This is usually due to hypersensitivity, or being more sensitive than others to these sensory experiences.

  • Sensory feeding struggles

    Challenges with feeding due to hypersensitivity to textures, smells, tastes, etc., of food or drinks. It often involves a child feeling anxiety, anger, or other distress at mealtimes due to the way certain foods cause them to feel.

  • Sensory processing

    How the nervous system interprets and responds to sensory information from the environment (smells, sounds, textures, etc.).

  • Social skills

    The ability to interact with others in an appropriate way at home, school, work, and beyond. Social skills include communication, making friends, showing empathy, and understanding social cues.

  • Speech therapy

    A specialized type of therapy designed to help children develop and improve the skills needed for clear speech. Speech therapists work with children to address challenges in areas such as articulation, oral motor skills, and fluency. The goal is to enhance a child's ability to communicate their ideas verbally to others.

  • Stuttering

    Disruptions in the flow of speech, such as repeating consonants (i.e., “p-p-please”).

  • Vestibular system

    The sensory system located in the inner ear that contributes to your awareness of your body’s positioning, movement, and balance.

  • Visual motor skills

    The ability to coordinate hand and eye movements, which is important for activities like writing or catching a ball.

  • Visual-perceptual skills

    The ability to make sense of the information gathered from your sense of sight, such as size, shape, distance, etc. These skills are vital for reading and writing, navigating the environment, and much more.