The treatments are designed individually for each child. Lilia uses approaches that are strongly based on current speech and language theories and that she believes are reliable methods of treatment.

Hand paintings are part of the treatment plan. This one is called ‘helping hands’.

Hand painting is one of the activities that Lilia performs with children to help them understand that she will use her hands to help them talk. Lilia calls this activity “helping hands” and “let me give you a hand”. This child’s painting is called “The Helping Hands.”

"I like to compare my work helping a child to talk in the same way adults help a child to walk - first we must hold their hands for each step and later we can watch them walk, jump and run on their own"

Quotation by Lilia Newman


Here are some of the common Communication Disorders that Lilia has experience treating:

Language Disorder:

Spoken language disorder (SLD) is when a child has difficulties in acquiring and using language across the five language domains (i.e., phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics). These deficits can be in the comprehension and/or production across any of these areas. Language disorders may persist across a person's lifespan, and symptoms may change over time.

SLD can be the primary disorder – not accompanied by an intellectual disability, global developmental delay, hearing or sensory impairment, or other mental disorder or medical condition - It is considered a "specific" language impairment (SLI). When we assess and treat a child we also assess if there are other conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disabilities (ID), developmental disabilities (DD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), psychological/emotional disorders and hearing loss. Each of these disorders may exhibit unique characteristics and behaviors, but all share common characteristics of language problems. The relationship between spoken and written language is well established.

Children with spoken language problems frequently have difficulty learning to read and write. Some children with language disorders may have social communication difficulty, because language processing, along with social interaction, social cognition, and pragmatics, comprise social communication.

Learning disabilities (LD) and language disorders are also closely linked, although the exact relationship between the two is not fully agreed upon. Language disorders are typically diagnosed before learning disabilities and frequently impact a child’s academic performance. At that point, the child is often identified as having a learning disability, even though a language disorder often underpins the academic struggles, especially those associated with learning to read and write (American Speech-Language Hearing Association - ASHA).

The treatment for language disorders at Communicate Better will be designed to address all the domains of language: content (e.g., semantics), form (e.g., phonology, morphology, syntax), and use (i.e., pragmatics, social communication) using the framework that Dr. Bloom and Lahey adapted to other cultures and languages. The treatments are strongly based on a combination of social-pragmatic theory (also called social interaction theory) and semantic-cognitive theory. Parents will be assisted to understand what this is all about. With the preschool children, the context of the therapy sessions will be based on play-based therapy guided by the work of Dr. Carol Westby and literacy. All the pre-reading phonological awareness will be introduced to the children as treatment and prevention of reading difficulties.

The bilingual/multilingual children who speak a dialect of English, are considered to be students who are learning English as a New Language (ENL) or are English Language Learners (ELL) a differential diagnosis between language differences/dialectal differences and language disorders will be always done. Speech-language differences should not be considered as disorders of speech and language.


Functional Speech Sound Disorders:

Articulation disorder is when a child makes errors (e.g., distortions and substitutions) in producing individual speech sounds.

Phonological disorder, is when a child makes predictable, rule-based errors (e.g., fronting, stopping, and final consonant deletion) that affect more than one sound. Lilia Newman will differentiate between articulation and phonological disorders and design treatment plans with procedures and approaches to teach the child to perceive and discriminate each of the sounds affected and learn to produce each of them appropriately. She uses a combination of traditional and evidenced based approaches like "The Cycles Approach" by Dr. Barbara Hodson. Parents will understand what and how to help their children with the concepts from these frameworks that will be shared with them. When recommended, Oral Placement Therapy and Myofunctional Approaches for Articulation Disorders will be used. Children with articulation disorders related to tongue ties and tongue thrust benefit from these motor approaches (e.g., "The Smile Program" by Robyn Walsh).


Organic Speech Sound Disorders:

Organic speech sound disorders are when there is a motor/neurological component underlying the disorder. For instance, with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) a child will have intelligibility problems that also involves a motor component such as difficulty to sequence and alternate the movement of the articulators. When the child is diagnosed with Dysarthria, another speech motor disorder, a child will present with abnormal muscle tone (hyper or hypo muscle tone) and/or limited range of movement of the articulators. The differential diagnosis will be made and the treatments will be designed to address all the motor components necessary for the child's speech production. A combination of motor approaches are part of the treatment plans: Myofunctional Approaches for Articulation Disorders and the PROMPT Method are used as well.

Other structural abnormalities such as Cleft lip/palate and sensory/perceptual disorders like in hearing impairment are also treated by Lilia Newman.


Autism Spectrum Disorders:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and social interaction and the presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors. The treatments are designed to decrease the impairments in joint attention and social reciprocity as well as challenges using verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors for social interaction. The treatment will also include all the modalities of language affected within a meaningful context to the child and the parents strongly based on play-based therapy and literacy. Lilia Newman also bases her work with the concepts of "Floor Time/DIR model" by Dr. Stanley Greenspan.


Fluency Disorder:

Fluency disorder is commonly called "stuttering". It is when a child has an interruption in the flow of speaking. The interruptions are characterized by atypical rate, rhythm, repetitions in sounds, syllables, words, and phrases. This may be accompanied by excessive tension, struggle behavior, and secondary mannerisms. The treatment is designed with methods appropriate for the child's age. With the preschool children, Lilia Newman uses the notions of "The Lidcombe program" which involves the parents in the therapeutic process and helps the child to speak smoothly.


Voice Disorder:

Voice disorder is when a child's voice has an abnormal and/or absence of vocal quality, pitch, loudness, resonance which is inappropriate for an individual's age and/or sex. Voice disorders can be functional or organic. Lilia Newman usually identifies the voice problem perceptually and make referrals to specialists for the differential diagnosis (organic problems like cysts, polyps or paralysis of vocal folds). Lilia Newman designs treatment plans for children to achieve improved voice production and coordination of respiration and laryngeal function.


Contact Lilia for an assessment for your child.

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