Speech therapy

Speech and language are the foundations of our communication. We would not be able to structure our thoughts and emotions without them. Being able to communicate with our environment and effectively express our needs is vital to our participation in daily life. Hence, language is a cornerstone of our quality of life.

Speech therapy includes speech, language, voice and swallowing. In these areas, we offer individual counselling and therapy in close coordination with your needs. We have worked together with medical specialists, schools and kindergartens as well as counselling centres for years, which enables us to work in an interdisciplinary and therapeutically comprehensive way. Since speech therapy and the quality of our therapeutic work are very important to us, we participate in ongoing trainings and work according to current guidelines.

You can trust our professional experience and individual counselling, diagnostics and therapy in cases such as:

Delays or disorders in speech development can affect the areas of communication, language comprehension, vocabulary, sound, and both word and sentence formation. Usually, several areas are affected at the same time. We examine and treat your child according to the latest linguistic research. We use proven, child-friendly speech therapy methods to achieve progress and success. We discuss the treatment plan with you in advance.
The goals of the therapy may vary depending on your child’s stage of development. In some cases, a speech development disorder also manifests as part of a general developmental delay. In such cases, interdisciplinary cooperation is often required, e.g., with special education teachers or occupational therapists. It is important to us that your child enjoys the therapy and that you are involved in the therapy process.
Special attention must be paid to speech development in very young children who have a delayed onset of speech. If your child does not speak at least 50 words by the age of 24 months and does not begin to form his/her first 2-word phrases, it may make sense to introduce your child to a speech therapist in consultation with your doctor. It is then necessary to assess whether your child belongs to the so-called late talkers who generally catch up by the end of their 36th month and display normal language development (‘late bloomers’) thereafter, or whether there are already signs of a language development disorder.
In the case of multilingual language acquisition (bilingualism, multilingualism), a linguistically sound assessment will be conducted to assess whether your child is progressing in his/her second language, i.e., German, as actually should occur with physiological language acquisition. If your child already makes many errors in his/her mother tongue with regard to vocabulary acquisition and sentence formation, it is very likely that he/she will also experience difficulties when learning German. It is often important to decide whether pedagogical language support, e.g., via the kindergarten, is sufficient, or whether speech therapy should support your child’s language acquisition. We provide multilingual medical history forms for those of you who do not yet speak German (very well), and we are happy to contact your child’s kindergarten teachers.

Stuttering is a speech flow disorder that can already manifest in childhood. The repetition and stretching of syllables, sounds or words as well as stammering (silent blocking) are among the signs of real stuttering. Genuine stuttering must be distinguished from imprecise physiological speech, which can occur during childhood and disappear on its own after some time. In both cases, we advise you on how to deal with the symptoms and treat your child with proven and evaluated speech therapy concepts. This also includes the involvement of parents as co-therapists, if required. Of course, we also offer therapy to adults – whether as an initial treatment or a refresher treatment.
The goals of the therapy include, among other things, the training of perception, reducing the fear of speaking, and the development of speech techniques to improve the flow of speech.

Similar to stuttering, cluttering is a speech flow disorder. It results in a fast and irregularly fluctuating speech tempo, words ‘slip’ and ‘roll over’. In addition, articulatory changes can occur that further reduce intelligibility, e.g., final syllables are omitted or word separation is impaired.

The goals of speech therapy are to improve the patient’s own perception of the symptoms, his/her linguistic structuring skills, and to develop strategies for immediate correction.

An articulation disorder (or ‘dyslalia’) refers to the incorrect formation of a sound. Up to a certain age some phonetic malformations are physiological, i.e., they often occur in children and ‘go away by themselves’; others are non-physiological and must be treated by a speech therapist. Lisping, i.e., sigmatism, after a certain age, is also one of them. Through our examination, we assess whether your child’s phonetic malformation should already be treated. We distinguish between articulation disorders in which motor formation, auditory discrimination or the programming of speech sounds are impaired and then decide on the best therapeutic approach. By the time your child enters school, all speech sounds should be correctly formed (exception: sigmatism – the ‘lisped s’ – in such cases correction usually takes place after the anterior teeth have emerged).
The goals of speech therapy are to promote the auditory differentiation of similar sounds, the initiation of physiological sound formation and the automation of this until the affected sound is adopted in spontaneous speech.

Auditory perception is the ability to evaluate information that is transmitted from the ear to the brain via the neural pathways. For preschool and school children, auditory perception plays a major role in learning to read and write, words must be broken down into syllables and sounds (analysis) or sounds must be combined to form words (synthesis). In addition, similar sounds must be distinguished from each other (discrimination, e.g., b-p or d-t). The ability to recognise and work with sounds in spoken language is called ‘phonological awareness’ and is an important prerequisite for the acquisition of written language. In the case of auditory perception disorders, one speaks of an auditory processing and perception disorder. Auditory processing and perception disorder is a partial performance disorder that can occur in isolation or in combination with other partial performance disorders (e.g., dyslexia, dyscalculia). Symptoms include difficulties in learning to read and write, a short concentration span, the child is easily distracted and can only remember something for a short period and is poor at memorising; he or she often asks questions, and a task has to be explained to him or her several times. The logopaedic examination is often part of a more comprehensive diagnosis, as the symptoms can be caused by a short attention span or poor performance at school. The usual recommendation is that the child be seen by a specialist in phoniatrics/paediatrics and/or child and adolescent psychiatry. AVWS therapy usually comprises 20 sessions and is intended to help the child deal with the phonetic structures of language so well that he or she can isolate and combine sounds in a targeted manner – and thus improve the prerequisites for the acquisition of written language.
This is not a dyslexia therapy – unfortunately, this is not reimbursed by the statutory health insurance companies but must therefore be paid for privately (however, you may qualify for state subsidies). Through additional training, my staff and I have the opportunity to help your child with the acquisition of written language – please contact us about this if necessary.

A tongue dysfunction is usually caused by the tongue being in an incorrect position in the mouth, which influences the swallowing process and/or articulation. Long-term changes in the position of the teeth or jaw can result from the tongue being incorrectly positioned during the swallowing process (usually due to pressure on or between the teeth). These malfunctions are also called functional orofacial or myofunctional disorders. Articulation disorders (e.g., ‘lisping’ – sigmatism) often appear at the same time.
The goals of speech therapy are the regulation of tone, the correction of the physiological tongue position and the initiation and consolidation of a regular swallowing act for different consistencies of food. At the same time, articulation is corrected.

Feeding, chewing and eating disorders in infancy and childhood are often caused by dysfunctions in the oral or facial area. Sensitivity disorders in the mouth and facial area or a delayed reduction of the gag reflex can play a role. The impairments are manifested by sucking and drinking difficulties, increased salivation or increased expelling of food. Sometimes the problem is also due to how your child eats.
The goals of speech therapy are to improve sensitivity and tone or to stimulate the sucking reaction. In addition, we analyse how your child eats together with you and advise you on how to create optimal conditions for your child.

Aphasia is a language disorder that occurs after the completion of language acquisition and is usually caused by a stroke. The symptoms can vary greatly depending on the severity of the disorder. Speech production and comprehension as well as writing and reading can be affected. In all cases, it is important to treat those affected individually and as soon as possible after the event so that they can actively participate in life again. Therefore, the goals of therapy are manifold, ranging from improving speech comprehension, accessing vocabulary, sentence formation or reading and writing performance, counselling of relatives, to assisted communication, e.g., through a so-called talker. Immediate and regular logopaedic treatment is absolutely necessary to be able to guarantee the fastest possible reorganisation of the physiological brain functions.

Dysarthria is a centrally or peripherally caused disorder affecting the control and execution of speech movements. This movement disorder can influence all the muscle groups involved and thus cause impairments in speech breathing, voice or articulation. Those affected often complain of muscular exhaustion or that they are no longer understood by their fellow human beings.
Dysarthria can occur in the context of strokes, craniocerebral trauma or neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. Depending on the cause, an individual treatment plan is created for you and implemented step by step.
The goal of speech therapy is to improve general intelligibility, especially by promoting speech breathing, voice and articulation.

Apraxia of speech is a centrally caused speech disorder that arises after language acquisition has been completed and is associated with impairments in the planning and programming of speech movements. Apraxia of speech often occurs as a result of a stroke or in the course of a neurological disease. Those affected often display complications in articulatory movements.
Developmental dyspraxia or verbal dyspraxia, which already occurs in childhood, must be distinguished from apraxia of speech, which is mainly manifested by a sometimes extremely limited speech production with often very poor intelligibility with age-appropriate speech comprehension. In addition, already acquired sounds or words may be lost.
The goals of speech therapy are to train articulation patterns, speech movements and improve the flow of speech.

Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) are impairments of the swallowing process caused either centrally (stroke, disease of the cranial nerve nuclei) or peripherally (by tumours or inflammations), which can affect all stages of food intake and processing, i.e., from the intake of food into the mouth via the pharynx to the transport into the stomach. The disorder usually occurs in the context of neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.
Those affected often report choking when eating and drinking. An obstructed voice, the sensation of a foreign body in the throat, throat clearing and coughing during eating (or progressively more afterwards) and swallowing air can also be symptoms of dysphagia.
Since the symptoms of dysphagia can be very diverse and sometimes dangerous, a thorough medical and logopaedic diagnosis is absolutely necessary before starting therapy, preferably by means of a video endoscopy or video fluoroscopy. It must be ensured that aspiration, i.e., (sometimes unnoticed) choking, cannot occur during the act of swallowing, as this poses the risk of aspiration pneumonia (pneumonia caused by food entering the airways and lungs).
The goals of speech therapy are divided into restorative, adaptive or compensatory procedures and include, for example, building up the muscles involved in the swallowing act, and learning swallowing manoeuvres or dietary measures to prevent choking. Counselling relatives or the nursing staff is also an important part of the treatment.

Voice disorders are also called dysphonia and refer to impairments in voice function and voice quality, which can be either physical or functional. Symptoms of voice disorders include prolonged hoarseness, a reduced ability to strain the voice, and pain and the sensation that the larynx area is obstructed. A voice disorder can arise, for example, after a thyroid operation or become apparent over the course of several years due to poor vocalisation or overstraining of the voice (e.g., in professional speakers such as teachers and educators). Diagnosis is carried out by an ENT doctor or a specialist in phoniatrics/paediatric audiology as well as by the speech therapist.
The goals of the therapy are, for example, the regulation of tone, improvement of voice formation and speech breathing as well as training the individual to be more aware of his/her own body and voice. Step by step, we work with you to find individual ways to use your voice effectively and without straining it. This may also include an analysis of your daily work routine or workplace. An untreated functional voice disorder can result in physical symptoms, such as the famous ‘vocal fold nodules’.
Voice disorders can already occur in childhood. These are also manifested by the above-mentioned symptoms. The aim of therapy for childhood voice disorders is primarily to train the child to use his/her own voice.