March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! Visit our blog each Friday of this month to read about some of these conditions and how Child and Family Development helps kids, adolescents and teens reach their potential.
The Center For Disease Control website offers excellent summaries and resources to learn more about developmental disabilities: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/developmentaldisabilities/facts.html.
The CDC has information on specific conditions, such as Angelman Syndrome. It is a genetic disorder in which a gene on chromosome 15 is missing or unexpressed. Children with Angelman Syndrome typically have developmental delays that are frequently evident between 6-12 months of age.Diagnosis can be established through genetic and DNA testing as early as the first year of life. In affected children, language comprehension and non-verbal skills are usually more developed than spoken language and the affected child may have few if any words. Children with Angelman Syndrome have difficulties with movement and balance. Their behavior may combine frequent laughter and smiling, an easily excitable personality, hand flapping movements, hyperactive behavior, and a short attention span. Associated physical features and concerns, such as seizures, movement problems, hypo pigmentation, sleep and feeding problems, are present in about 20-80% of children who have this disorder. Many educational and behavioral interventions have been shown to be effective in addition to physical and occupational therapies, speech and language interventions, behavior modification, and parent training. Read more here.
Michelle Pentz, MS, CCC-SLP, offers speech therapy assessments and treatment to kids and teens with Angelman Syndrome and other syndromes that affect expressive language skills. Michelle shares that her job as a SLP is to ensure a way for a child to communicate with others. This can be done with a total language approach (a combination of speech production, sign language, augmentative communication, etc.). Children with Angelman Syndrome tend to have good comprehension and nonverbal skills, so building on the nonverbal skills will be the ideal method to go about obtaining more communication with others
Our team of 8 speech therapists provides expertise in many areas, including expressive language, receptive language, feeding difficulties, swallowing difficulties, auditory processing difficulties, articulation, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, voice and fluency.
Child and Family Development is in-network with many insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield NC, Cigna, Medcost, North Carolina Medicaid, Primary Physician Care and United Health Care. Our clients also may pay privately and access out-of-network benefits.