14 Mar 2018

BY: speechsolution


How Autism can affect conversational skills

Autism Spectrum Disorder. Also known as, ASD can effect communication in many different ways.

Some children with ASD use verbal communication while others do not.

According to ASHA, some areas of communication that can be affected are repetition, rigid language,  nonverbal cues, and ability to navigate across new topics.

Today we want to chat about the most common areas affected and how Speech Language Pathologists can help.



1. Repetition and Echolalia

  • Some children with Autism will exhibit repetition in their speech and language. For example, they might repeat a phrase that they hear someone say, and repeat it for the rest of the day. We call this echolalia. Echolalia is a normal developmental step that children use in order to learn language; however, children on the spectrum might present this past the term that we deem “normal” for echolalic language. Recent research shows that echolalia may be a positive step in the development of communication for kiddos on the spectrum. SLP’s can help to shape this stage of their development into intentional communicative speech. For more information on echolalia treatment visit

2. Nonverbal cues

  • Nonverbal cues significantly influence social interactions and conversations. Nonverbal cues include: eye contact, facial expressions, and body language. These cues are often just as important as spoken words. When children on the spectrum have difficulty with nonverbal cues this can make holding a conversation with peers very difficult. SLP’s can help practice and implement the understanding of nonverbal cues using many different social strategies for functional communication.

3.Specific areas of interest

  • Some children on the spectrum may present with focusing on specific areas of high interest. As a result, these children often have difficulty holding conversations about other topics. They may also have difficulty picking up on social cues from other people when they are no longer interested in the topic. SLP’s can help introduce social cues and body language to a child’s development. 


If you have any further questions about how SLP’s can help with these skills, feel free to contact us.


Speech Solutions  


03 Feb 2018

BY: speechsolution


Benefits of PECS

In this month’s newsletter, we talk about the benefits of using a picture exchange communication system (PECS). 

PECS is considered a form of augmentative alternative communication or known as AAC. 

Research tells us that children do not developmentally comprehend pictures until after 3 years of age, so you may want to put off PECS as an AAC option until your child is at least 3-years-old. 

Children who benefit from this form of AAC may have autism spectrum disorder or another disorder that affects communication skills. PECS utilizes pictures to effectively communicate wants and needs. For example, if a child wants to request milk, they would point to a picture of milk. This method of communication can help children who are working to develop spoken language skills.  

PECS can be used short term or long term benefits. Speech-language pathologists can choose to implement this in a child’s plan of care to assist in learning verbal speech or to use as a primary mode of communication. The primary goal of PECS is to teach functional communication.

There are 6 phases of PECS:

Phase 1– Learning how communicate: Individuals learn to exchange pictures for items that they want/need 

Phase 2– Distance and persistence: Using single pictures individuals learn to use this skill in different places with different people 

Phase 3– Picture discrimination: Individuals learn to select 2 or more pictures to request items and a picture communication book is made where pictures can be stored and easily removed 

Phase 4– Sentence structure: Individuals learn to construct simple sentences use an “I want” picture followed by the requested item

Phase 5– Responsive requesting: Learning to use PECS to answer questions 

Phase 6: Individuals are taught to responds to questions using PECS 

For more information on getting started with PECS and whether or not your child is a good candidate for this form of AAC visit 


Speech Solutions 

21 Jan 2018

BY: speechsolution


Pragmatic Language Disorders

In this months newsletter, we talked about pragmatic language disorders.

So what is pragmatic language? 

Pragmatic language refers to any language that is used in social interaction which includes non- verbal language. 

There are “typical” rules that govern social communication, such as greetings, making eye contact, taking turns in conversation, staying on topic, reading body language, etc. 

According to ASHA, there are three main categories which include language usage, language changes, and rules of communication. 

For some, these skills develop typically and naturally in our everyday environment and for others they don’t come as simply. 

Pragmatic language disorder (also referred to as social communication disorder)  is the impairment of any aspect of pragmatic language. 

This is common for kiddos on the autism spectrum. 

So where does speech therapy come into play with social language? 

Speech therapy is a helpful tool that can help children learn appropriate pragmatic behavior. Every child is different and their goals in speech therapy may look different than others.

Speech therapists may focus on expected/unexpected behaviors during social interaction, thinking about what others might be thinking, reading body language, understanding emotions of others, making eye contact, taking turns, personal space, and so much more. 

The focus is to maintain and generalize what is learned in the therapy room to outside settings and social interactions in order to help your kiddo communicate more effectively! 🙂 

If you have any further questions about pragmatic therapy feel free to contact the office. 


Speech Solutions 


19 Dec 2017

BY: speechsolution


Auditory Processing Disorder


Auditory Processing Disorder

In this months blog we talk about Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD).

CAPD is an auditory deficit where the central nervous system has difficulty interpreting auditory input. This is not due to any higher global disorder (meaning Autism, ADHD, etc.).  

Characteristics that set CAPD apart from other global related disorders are that these children will often have difficulty attending to information in noisy environments, discriminating sounds in speech, following directions, and difficulty with spelling and reading. It can often be perceived as if a hearing loss is present, when in fact there is not.

It is important to carefully examine the characteristics each child is demonstrating and not to assume that every child with difficulty attending has CAPD. 


In regards to assessment of CAPD, it is recommended that a multidisciplinary team is involved in the diagnosis process. It is important to rule out any hearing loss with an audiologist, at which time the audiologist can also run a series of tests to help determine if CAPD is present. 


There is no “one cure all” method for CAPD. Every child is different and the diagnosis extends across many different characteristics.  

Treatment plans will include:

1. Change to the environment: which can help a child process information more effectively. 

2.Compensatory strategies: strengthening skills in problem solving, memory, attention, phonological awareness, and more. 

3.Remediation: which includes individualized treatment activities. 


 If you have any questions about CAPD diagnosis and treatment feel free to contact our office.



Speech Solutions Hawaii 






12 Nov 2017

BY: speechsolution


Final Consonant Deletion

In this months blog we talk about final consonant deletion.

Final consonant deletion is a phonological process in language where children delete the final consonant off words.

Pretty simple concept right? But this makes them very hard to understand! 

Deleting the final consonants on words looks like this—> Cat becomes Ca

At the word level it may not sound too difficult to understand, but what about when this starts to happen in phrases and full sentences… 

/Mom I want ice cream/ suddenly becomes —–> /mo I wan I crea/ 

Not so easy to understand anymore, huh?

Children usually make this error with words until they are about 3 years of age.

But why? 

Because this is a simpler form of speech. Developmentally this is appropriate until age 3. Children are still learning how to put words together to form phrases and sentences.

But what if this error continues to happen after age 3? 

This is when speech therapy comes into play.

You can also try this technique at home!

 How to target:

Find words that sound alike but adding the final consonant changes the meaning. We call these minimal pairs.

For example:






These flashcard decks can also be found on Pinterest as a free download.

Present these words to your kiddo and then have them imitate the words back to you.

This is a good place to start. Once your child can repeat the words with the final consonants, see if they can successfully say final consonants at the phrase level, and once they succeed there, listen out for their errors in conversational speech and use any opportunity to model correct language for them.

If you have any questions on how to facilitate this at home or on starting speech therapy to target final consonant deletion. Feel free to leave a comment!


Speech Solutions Hawaii





BY: speechsolution


Do we take insurance?

There are times when speech and language delays appear obvious  but…the child may not be eligible for speech therapy services.  Cue most moms pulling out their hair!!  These decisions are based on qualifying criterion from federal regulations and state education laws. Sometimes, parents may also wish to have more services for their child, OR a school simply cannot provide the intensity of services that you want.  So, our phone rings off the hook from parents trying with all their might to get additional services.

But, when families look for private therapy the #1 question we get is….. “ DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?”… cue me taking a deep breath here.  Most private health plans will not pay for exact same services that are provided in early intervention or public school settings. Although some therapies such as physical therapy and occupational therapy may be covered by your private insurance plan, speech therapy services are most likely a completely different story. The following may help to guide you in understanding what your options might be.

If your child has a diagnosis of Autism, some states will cover necessary therapeutic services for your child. To see what states this applies to, refer to our insurance tab here. Also, check out Luke’s law for information on services that are available by the state for your child diagnosed with autism.

Now if none of these apply to you, don’t fret. For birth-3 aged kiddos, Easter Seals Hawaii offers no cost speech services for those who are not eligible for services through the DOE. For your school aged child (including preschool) the DOE is required to provide no cost services when deemed necessary to educational development to those in a SPED program.

If the DOE is not an option, The University of Hawaii offers low cost speech therapy services to anyone in need.

Another thing to consider are that many scholarships out there for speech therapy services. We do have a running list to share with you if you were interested.  Contact us via phone or email to receive a copy

(808) 596-0099

We always encourage clients to contact their insurance providers and what your insurance may actually cover.

For more information click here.

Hope this helps!


Speech Solutions

19 Aug 2017

BY: trini



In this months newsletter we talk about childhood apraxia of speech or CAS. Childhood apraxia of speech is a motor disorder that effects a child’s ability to produce speech. These children know what they want to say; however, their brain has difficulty coordinating muscle movements of their articulators. The most noticeable sign of apraxia is the inconsistency of errors.

Others include:  Read More “CAS”

11 Jul 2017

BY: trini


The benefits of baby signs
If you’ve had a chance to read our July newsletter, we talked about the benefits of teaching your baby “baby signs”!
What are “baby signs”?
Baby signs are simple sign language gestures that your baby can use when expressing their needs and wants.

Common starter signs: Read More “The benefits of baby signs”

06 Jun 2017

BY: trini

Blogs / Education / Language / School / Speech Therapy / Therapists / Uncategorized

5 tips for eliciting the /s/ sound


Is your kiddo having a difficult time making the /s/ sound?
Here’s some tricks on how to elicit the sound correctly:
First: Place a tongue depressor on the alveolar ridge (the bumpy spot behind your teeth) so that your kiddo can become familiar with where their tongue needs to be.
Second: Have them make the /t/ sound. The /s/ and the /t/ are made by placing the tongue in the exact same place!

Read More “5 tips for eliciting the /s/ sound”

05 May 2017

BY: trini

Blogs / Education / Language / Speech Therapy / Therapists

Let’s talk social skills

Let’s talk about social skills!
Social skills are a huge part of language development!

But learning them does not always come easy, especially for our kiddos with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They tend to have a difficult time with social skills and it can be a task trying to incorporate them into their therapeutic routine. Read More “Let’s talk social skills”