Welcome to
SoCal Speech and Swallow

We specialize in speech therapy for adults with disorders such as apraxia, dysthartia, dysphagia, and more. Areas we serve in SoCal include Los Angeles, Greater Los Angeles, and Orange County.

Why You May Need Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is essential in managing speech disorders that develop in kids and adults. SoCal Speech and Swallowing therapists offer a wide range of services to diagnose and treat injuries and conditions that affect speech, swallowing, and voice capabilities. Our highly trained and licensed speech–language pathologists have expertise in a full range of neurological and medical conditions that will help you or your loved one achieve their communication goals. Our team has specialized training in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating speech disorders.

We offer customized speech therapy services for all adults from young to seniors. Our speech-language therapists also work with individuals who have undergone surgeries and other procedures for treating neck and head injuries, assisting them in restoring a clear, strong voice. Whether you are looking for immediate care or planning to seek the services in the future, contact SoCal Speech therapy center today. Our speech therapists are on call and ready to talk to you about your concerns.

Speech Therapy Services for Adults

Speech and language disorders in adults are more common than most people would realize. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication

All Services

Stuttering & Fluency

Motor Speech Disorders and Articulation Therapy

Aphasia and Stroke Recovery Treatment

Voice Disorders & Voice Therapy

Stuttering & Fluency


Stuttering is a speech disorder involving the repetition of words, syllables, sounds, interruption of speech, and the prolongation of sounds. Generally, the person who stutters usually knows what they want to say but has trouble producing a typical speech. While the exact cause of shuttering remains unknown, research shows that people with a familiar history are likely to shutter. Shuttering is also seen to be more prevalent in males than females. Sometimes, kids may face periods of disfluency, especially when young and learning to speak. If your loved one is of age and tends to hesitate or repeat certain words or syllables, they could be suffering from a stuttering problem. The main stuttering problems include;

  • Repeating sounds in words consistently. The individual may also repeat words in a sentence.
  • Avoiding saying words that are difficult to pronounce
  • Having anxiety signs while trying to speak
  • Hesitating involuntary between words in a sentence

Stuttering is not only a common problem in kids but also in adults. So-Cal speech therapists are experienced in this field to help your loved one to have fluent speech. Our experts create an individualized treatment plan that addresses each patient’s needs. We have specialized tools that help us identify the specific area of need. The diagnosis process includes an assessment of the mouth’s physical structure and speech muscles. After the diagnosis, our therapists will work with the patient to help reduce or eliminate stuttering, allowing them to communicate more clearly.

Motor Speech Disorders and Articulation Therapy


People suffering from articulation will find trouble pronouncing certain sounds, making their speech unclear. Articulation disorder is prevalent in adults. Some of the leading causes include the problem with teeth alignment and hearing difficulties. On the other hand, articulation problems may arise from childhood disorders that were never addressed.

Our skilled speech-language pathologists will perform a comprehensive articulation assessment to determine the specific sounds or sound combinations that cause the problem. The SPL evaluation may include reviewing the patients’ medical history and interview for both the patient and caregiver. After the diagnosis, we offer speech therapy and other treatments to correct articulation, allowing the patient to communicate more effectively.

Aphasia and Stroke Recovery Treatment


A stroke occurs when the brain cells cannot receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood. The condition occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted suddenly or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, flooding the spaces that surround the brain cells. Some of the common signs of stroke include weakness or numbness on one body side, blurry vision, problems speaking, sudden severe headache, and loss of coordination or balance. The stroke effects often have a long-lasting impact.

Brain tumors, head injuries, and other neurological causes may also lead to speech problems. After a brain tumor or stroke, most often, speech disorders make going back to normal daily activities challenging. Some of the communication problems associated with these conditions include:

Aphasia

Aphasia refers to a patient’s inability to understand or formulate speech or language because of injury to a specific part of their brain. In many cases, this brain injury will develop due to a stroke or head injury, such as those often found in road accident victims. However, there are instances where it may come about gradually due to the growth or of a slowly progressing tumor in the patient’s brain. Certain neurodegenerative diseases will also have the capacity to bring about aphasia. The degree or severity of a patient’s aphasia will be directly tied to the extent and cause of the brain damage in question.

It is essential to keep in mind that people with aphasia will rarely experience any reduction or deficiency in their mental capacity or cognition – they will be limited in expressing themselves as they used to. This will often be a source of frustration, not only for the patients themselves but for their caretakers, friends, family, and all those around them as well. To understand how aphasia affects patients, let us look at the various types of aphasia and how their characteristics vary from one type to the next.

  • Comprehensive Aphasia 

Also referred to as Wernicke’s aphasia or fluent aphasia, and is characterized by the patient’s ability to speak at length and fluently in complex sentences that turn out to be incorrect, unrecognizable, or otherwise full of unnecessary words. It will be noticed that they have a poor grasp of the language, even though they have been speaking it since birth, and will be unable to recognize that others do not understand what they are trying to say.

  • Mixed Transcortical Aphasia

Mixed transcortical aphasia is characterized by slow, halting speech, which is similar to severe Broca’s aphasia. However, one distinct feature of the mixed transcortical aphasia is that reading, auditory comprehension, and writing is often compromised.

  • Global Aphasia

With this category of aphasia patients, it will be observed that forming words and constructing sentences will be a challenge, in addition to a general poor speaking and writing comprehension. This type of aphasia is attributed to extensive damage to the networks that make up the language regions of a person’s brain. These patients will present with severe comprehension and expression difficulties.

  • Primary Progressive Aphasia

Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) occurs because of progressively impaired speech and auditory comprehension. The primary PPA cause is neurodegenerative diseases. At the onset, the symptoms of PPA are characterized by speech and language disorders. However, as the condition worsens, other symptoms such as memory loss may appear.

  • Broca’s aphasia,

Also referred to as non-fluent or expressive aphasia, this type is characterized by the patient’s ability to understand what is being said to them but have trouble speaking and in a way that is easily understood in turn. For instance, a person Broca’s aphasia may say, “Want water” rather than the more appropriate “I’d like a glass of water.”

While the person listening to the patient might have little difficulty in discerning the meaning behind their words, the patients themselves will be aware of the trouble they are having with communicating their thoughts, which can be a very frustrating situation for them. In some instances, you will find patients presenting with this type of aphasia to also have accompanying right-side weakness or paralysis.

  • Transcortical Sensory Aphasia

Transcortical sensory aphasia is similar to Wernicke’s aphasia in that speech is fluent, but it often does not have a meaning. This is the least common type of aphasia that is characterized by an impaired auditory comprehension.

  • Deaf Aphasia

Although somewhat rare, there are recorded instances of patients who are deaf exhibiting the symptoms of aphasia. Sign language is, after all, a language in itself and one that works by utilizing the same brain areas that spoken languages do. Individuals in the deaf community who previously had advanced sign language communication techniques have been observed to exhibit the same denigration of their communicative abilities because of injury or damage to the same brain areas as those who relied on vocalization to communicate. In short, global and expressive aphasia is a reality in the world of the deaf, which will require the attention of speech therapists to rectify

  • Transcortical Motor Aphasia

Transcortical motor aphasia is non-fluent aphasia similar to Broca’s aphasia. Speech output is minimal with increased episodes of word-finding difficulties, resulting in a speech with many starts and stops. People suffering from this condition have preserved repetition since they can repeat sentences of a longer length and complexity.

Dysarthria

Dysarthria is a condition brought about by a weakening of the muscles responsible for producing sound, therefore limiting the patient’s ability to pronounce words and produce speech effectively.

It is classified as a motor speech disorder, often caused by neurological injuries (brain damage) of varying degree brought about by a number of potential issues such as brain trauma (accidents, etc.), stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, tumors, Huntington’s disease, and more.

It has also been noted that some instances of dysarthria are brought about by negative reactions to certain prescription medications. In these instances, it is recommended that either the patient change their medication or stop using them completely – whichever course of action is recommended by the patient’s physician.

Acquired apraxia of speech

Apraxia is a neurological disorder characterized by the inability to make specific movements even though their muscles are normal. The individual has the capacity and desire to move to perform these actions, but they cannot execute them. This AOS form affects a person at any age, although it is common in adults. The disorder is caused by damage to the brain parts that control how we speak. The damages are head injury, stroke, tumor, and other illnesses that affect the brain. Most often, acquired AOS is accompanied by disorders that result from nervous system damage. Here are some of the common speech problems observed in people suffering from apraxia of speech.

  • Distorting sounds

People suffering from AOS have a problem pronouncing words correctly. The sounds, especially the vowels, are often distorted. Since the person may not place the tongue, jaw, and other speech structures in the right place, the sound often comes out distorted.

  • Making inconsistent errors in speech

Sometimes, a person with AOS may say a difficult word correctly but face a problem repeating it. The person may also be able to say a particular sound one day but find it hard to say the same sound the following day.

  • Groping for sounds

AOS sufferers often appear to be groping for the right word or sound. The person may try saying the word several times before saying it correctly.

  • Dementia|

Dementia is a chronic and progressive syndrome that results from brain-related disease. The condition refers to a collection of symptoms that affects the functioning of the brain. It is characterized by a progressive decline in memory and cognitive functions, which results in problems in learning, speech, and executive functions. Due to the disease’s progressive nature, the symptom worsens in time and has an enormous impact on independent functioning and daily activities.

Primarily, dementia impairs language, memory, and cognitive ability, making it hard to communicate. Difficulty in language processing and memory loss makes it hard for the patient to participate in a conversation. The patient also suffers from judgment problems, which may lead to problems with eating and nutrition. SoCal speech therapy pathologists will help the patient deal with the symptoms, allowing them to communicate effectively. Our speech–language pathologists address various issues such as articulation, fluency, and voice volume recognition, allowing the patient to speak fluently. The specialist also helps the patient express themselves through various communication forms such as sign language, writing, and communicating assistance devices such as computers.

Head & Neck cancer

Head and neck cancer affects the organs that help in the formation of speech. These organs include the mouth, larynx, throat, lips throat, nasal cavity, lips, and salivary glands. Various treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, or a combination of these can help stop the multiplication of cancerous cells. Unfortunately, these treatments may lead to speech and swallowing difficulties.

As such, it is essential to address these disorders after recovering from cancer. A speech-language pathologist will help the patient to address these problems, allowing them to speak effectively. SoCal speech and swallow therapist use a combination of techniques and muscle exercises that helps in the rehabilitation and restoration of both swallowing and speech functions.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease, commonly referred to as PD, is a progressive nervous condition where the brain becomes damaged. Most often, the symptoms are barely noticeable at first. However, as the condition progress over time, the ability to perform basic tasks becomes difficult. This condition is characterized by various motor symptoms such as muscle stiffness and slow movements. Other non-motor symptoms such as insomnia, depression, fatigue, and anxiety may start to manifest.

Generally, the condition also affects the nerves and muscles that control speech. Besides having difficulty moving, the muscles that help produce voice can lead to a frozen face, which makes it hard to communicate your emotions. Additionally, PD can also lead to dysphagia, which is a condition that leads to problems in swallowing. Swallowing problems are severe, as they put the patient under aspiration pneumonia and choking risks. SoCal speech and swallow therapist helps to mitigate the problems associated with both speech and swallowing problems.

Tracheostomy Patients

A tracheostomy is an opening created surgically in the Neck that leads to the trachea directly. The opening helps the doctor place a tube in the windpipe to help the patient breathe easily. The cut is usually below the vocal cords. Usually, we form the sound when we push air from our lungs, allowing the vocal cords to vibrate. Under tracheostomy, the air does not reach the vocal cords, meaning the patient will have problems producing sound. However, when the condition improves, doctors usually place a unique tube that allows the air to go up to the air to flow up to the vocal cords.

In the circumstances, that the patient needs prolonged tracheostomy treatment, speech and swallows therapy is paramount for these patients. Prolonged tracheostomy may lead to various conditions such as infections, airway obstruction, larynx damage, airway scarring, and impaired vocal and swallowing function. Speech therapy for patients undergoing tracheostomy includes language therapy, articulation improvement, Stuttering therapy, Fluency therapy, and Voice improvement. Swallow therapy is also essential, which helps strengthen the muscles that help the patient swallow effectively. The therapy prevents not only choking risks but also aspiration pneumonia.

Multiple Sclerosis

Speech problems are also common in patients who have multiple Sclerosis. The brainstem usually controls speech problems. Multiple Sclerosis often causes damage to the brain part that controls our speech patterns. The severity of the problem usually depends on the damage extent and the specific areas affected. The most common speech pattern affected by the condition is scanning speech. The condition disrupts the speech pattern leading to an abnormally long pause between syllables or words. Multiple Sclerosis may also cause the patient to slur words due to the weakness or improper coordination of the muscles, lips, and mouth. Dysarthria is another common condition that results when lesions develop in the brain stem, leading to tremor incoordination and head shaking.

At SoCal speech therapy center, we focus on improving the strength, coordination, and endurance of the throat and mouth muscles in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Our speech therapy is also helpful in strengthening the facial muscles and lesions that may have affected the patient’s ability to speak and swallow. At SoCal speech and swallow therapy center, we tailor our services to tackle the specific symptoms and customize our techniques to help the patient to overcome the challenge. Some of the techniques we use include oral exercise to strengthen the throat muscles, voice training, special communication devices, diet modification, and neuromuscular electrical stimulation that helps to facilitate swallowing.

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The Benefits of Speech Therapy for Aphasia and Stroke Recovery 

The speech therapist at So Cal therapy center has rigorous training and broad expertise to provide customized service for each individual’s specific strengths and strengths. We offer a comprehensive evaluation, treatment, and speech practice. Our SPLs will evaluate and assess the patient’s speech development to determine the problem’s extent.

We focus on intervention and therapy to help the patient plan, sequence, and coordinate speech production movement. We also provide education to parents and caregivers of the patient to help create an enabling environment to improve their speech. At So Cal speech and swallow therapy center, we pride ourselves on offering expert care depending on our patients’ individual needs.

Voice Disorders & Voice Therapy

So-Cal speech and swallowing therapy center‘s team of speech-language pathologists have extensive experience in treating voice disorders. Below are some of the voice therapy services we offer at our clinic.

Hoarseness (Dysphonia)

A breathy or hoarse voice that lasts more than fourteen days requires an evaluation by an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor. The most common problem that can cause voice problems includes talking for long periods, smoking, excessive coughing, muscle tensions, and vocal fold paralysis. While some conditions are treatable using various medications, an ENT doctor often recommends voice therapies for most voice issues. Our specialists at the So-Cal therapy center are ready to work with you and fix the problem. We have a comprehensive therapy program that helps reduce hoarseness, improve your voice endurance, loudness, and pitch range.

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) for Parkinson’s disease and SPEAK OUT

Our voice therapy programs are designed to improve your voice’s strength, clarity, and loudness. Parkinson’s disease is one of the aggressive conditions that can lead to complete loss of speech. As such, we recommend early intervention. All our SPLs are certified in the SPEAK OUT and Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) programs.

  • LSVT LOUD

LSVT Loud is one of the effective voice treatment programs for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. The program usually focuses on vocal loudness through stimulation of speech mechanism and larynx using various exercises. It is focused on helping the individual to speak aloud. The exercises involved in the program helps in improving respiratory and articulation function, allowing the person to speak more coherently.

  • SPEAK OUT!

The SPEAK OUT program focuses on the intent concept. The program helps strengthen the speaking muscles and trains the patients on how to move the muscle that forms sound. Our SPLs at the So-Cal therapy center will work with the patient through a series of speech, cognitive and voice exercises outlined in the Speak out Workbook.

Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD)

VCD usually develops when the vocal folds shuts when breathing. Normally, the vocal cords should stay open. When this happens, it makes it hard for the person to breathe. The common VCD symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, hoarseness, and trouble breathing.

So-Cal SLPs work with patients suffering from the VCD and help to ease the symptoms. Our treatment program usually focuses on various techniques including vocal hygiene, relaxation techniques, and inhaling exercises.

Gender Affirming Voice and Communication Services

Everyone, regardless of his or her gender identity, can benefit from voice therapy. This therapy is especially beneficial for non-binary people and transgender who feel uncomfortable with their voice. Our SPLs will customize the voice therapy program to suit your needs. We have broad experience working with transgender men, transgender women, and non-binary people, helping them adapt their voice as well as communication patterns that match their gender identity.

Our process of assessment includes a thorough interview and vocal evaluation using modern instrumentation. We tailor our treatment program based on the client’s needs, desires and goals. The therapy program usually involves exercises and real-life practice. Our treatment goal is to address various vocal characteristics, including intonation, pitch, and nonverbal communication patterns, including facial expressions and gestures.

FAQ

SpeakLivePlay.com is a community-based organization in Los Angeles that offers speech and language therapy, cognitive, swallowing/feeding disorders that arise from injury, neurological conditions, brain abnormalities, and medical conditions like stroke.

On Speakliveplay.com, you can access occupational and speech therapy services for children, adults and tons of information on the nature of communicative disabilities and how to manage them.

What is Speech Therapy?

Speech therapy is a field of medicine that revolves around the diagnosis and treatment of speech disorders and communication problems. The professionals that perform speech therapy are known as speech therapists, or more commonly, speech-language pathologists (SLPs).

The goal of speech therapy is to improve how individuals communicate. It addresses various speech and language disorders using methods such as articulation therapy and language intervention.

Speech therapy helps resolve speech disorders that develop naturally during childhood and speech impairments that arise from brain injury and illnesses like stroke.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a healthcare profession centered on helping people with various disabilities live everyday, productive lives. O.T. is important for people who need help when it comes to performing multiple daily activities at work, school, home, or in social settings.

Occupational therapy benefits people born with disabilities and those recovering from significant medical events like surgery or illnesses like stroke. This field of medicine aims to improve the health and quality of life of people who struggle with daily activities.

In essence, occupational therapy helps individuals learn or re-learn the necessary skills to live a happy, healthy life.

Speech Therapy for Children

During speech therapy for children, SLPs adopt various interaction methods, including playing, reading books, or describing pictures and objects. It can be conducted one-on-one or in a group session and will include various activities and exercises depending on the child’s needs in question.

The reason they use these methods is to stimulate language development in children with speech disabilities. The therapist may also go as far as to model sounds and syllables during playtime so that the child learns how to make those sounds.

It is a process that works through consistency and repetition, which is why parents and caregivers are essential participants in speech therapy for kids. They are required to carry on speech therapy at home by following the strategies and ‘homework’ provided by SLPs.

Speech Therapy for Adults

Like with any form of therapy, speech therapy for adults starts with evaluating the individual to determine the best course of treatment. The therapy exercises done here focus on improving speech, cognitive-communication, and language.

Exercises that improve cognitive-communication may include memory, organization, and problem-solving skills. Conversational tactics are used to improve how individuals communicate in social settings, while breathing exercises may be included if they lack enough resonance to communicate effectively.

Speech therapy for adults may also include muscle-strengthening and swallowing exercises, which address the oral problems that arise due to injury or medical illnesses like oral cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

In-home Speech Therapy

In-home speech therapy, other in-home services like physical, occupational therapy, speech teletherapy has gotten very popular in recent years. The rise of these services has shown that patients feel more comfortable in their environment and settings. The patients are more receptive and progress much faster than going into a clinic where they don’t feel as comfortable because of the sterile environment.

Another reason why in-home speech therapy is getting popular is because of the travel time. In metropolises like Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston, the traffic can be very congested, and it takes a long time for the patients to get to their therapist or doctor’s office.

Speech pathologists can use language development games, flashcards, and for in-home speech therapy. SLPs recommend the best language development tools to be used at home, depending on the child’s disorder.

Why People Need Speech Therapy

Speech therapy improves articulation, fluency, and resonance

Speech therapy teaches how to properly form various word sounds (articulate), speak with a consistent rhythm and speed (speak fluently), and project the voice for clear communication (resonate). Articulation, fluency, and resonance are the cornerstones of effective speech.

It helps with receptive disorders

People who struggle to understand and process what other people say is said to have a receptive disorder. Speech therapy helps resolve sensory language disorders caused by hearing loss, Autism, head injuries, and other language disorders.

It teaches people how to express themselves effectively

Expressive language disorders, which may be characterized by difficulty forming proper sentences and incorrect verb tenses, make people incapable of expressing and conveying information. Speech therapy can successfully treat expressive disorders, often caused by down syndrome, hearing loss, head trauma, and illnesses.

It can restore communication abilities after a brain injury

An injury to the part of the brain responsible for your ability to think can result in a cognitive-communication disorder, which is manifested through speaking difficulties, memory issues, and poor problem-solving skills. Speech therapy is one way to restore cognitive-communication abilities following a brain injury, brain abnormalities, illnesses like stroke, and neurological conditions

It helps stroke patients to recover their communication abilities

Aphasia is a communication disorder that prevents people from speaking, reading, and writing and also makes it harder for them to understand others. Aphasia is most commonly caused by stroke, but even when it arises from other brain disorders, speech therapy can be used to restore the patient’s communication abilities.

It helps M.S. and ALS patients that develop facial paralysis

Multiple sclerosis (M.S.) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are nervous system disorders that often cause facial paralysis, which leads to slow or slurred speech (dysarthria). Speech therapy can help M.S. and ALS patients overcome the difficulties caused by this inability to control speech muscles.

Our Licensed SLPs (Speech-Language Pathologist)

Melissa Peters and her Team of trained M.S., CCC-SLP are speech and language therapists who have worked with many different demographics from babies, adolescents, adults, and seniors. SpeaklivePlay.com is a proponent of treating speech and language disorders by adopting an evidence-based approach that focuses on every individual’s specific needs.

The Team is experienced in treating voice disorders, articulation disorders, receptive and expressive language disorders (and delay), and developmental speech disorders caused by conditions like Autism. They have also handled cases of Apraxia, disabilities and are well-versed in the provision of early intervention services like swallowing and feeding disorders, which benefit people who develop speech problems at birth.

Melissa Peters and her Team are also PROMPT Level 1 trained. They are qualified to administer Oral Placement Therapy and DIR-Floortime, which aids in the treatment of articulation disorders. She believes in providing therapy in a child-centered environment, which may encourage faster development of speech capabilities.

They have recently added an occupational therapist in Crystal Malanpas, which will work hand in hand with their current speech and language services.

In Summary

SpeakLivePlay aims to improve the lives of those living with speech impairments and disabilities (both physical and mental) that make it hard to live an everyday life. With qualified and highly experienced experts, this community-based organization allows people to regain control over their daily lives and make life better for their afflicted loved ones. With the new addition of an occupational therapist to their Team, they will give even better and broader services to their patients.

SpeakLivePlay.com is a community based organization in Los Angeles that offers speech and language therapy, cognitive, swallowing/feeding disorders that arise from injury, neurological conditions, brain abnormalities, and medical conditions like stroke.

Here, you can access occupational and speech therapy services for children and adults as well as tons of information on the nature of communicative disabilities and how to manage them.

The Benefits of Speech Teletherapy for Adults

The health system in our country was designed decades ago, whereby a patient could only get medical care by walking into a doctor’s workplace or meeting face to face. Teletherapy is the process of delivering speech–language evaluation and treatment using technology. Teletherapy is also known as telepractice, remote speech therapy, online speech therapy, and virtual speech therapy.

Teletherapy is an effective way that helps adults to improve their speech and communication without leaving their home comfortable. At So-Cal therapy center, we offer live, interactive online sessions that are customized to fit your specific needs. Below are the main benefits that you will get from our speech teletherapy.

  • Helping individuals living in rural areas to access the treatment they need conveniently.
  • Getting speech therapy at your home’s comfort eliminates the need to travel.
  • Speech teletherapy also eliminates the hassle of visiting a doctor office for
  • It enables for easy goal generalization into our everyday life
  • It facilitates the involvement of the caregiver and other family members

Contact us

Monday-Friday 9-6pm.
(424) 279-8379
melissa@speakliveplay.com

Book An Appointment

Call, Text, or fill out the form to schedule an appointment with SoCal Speech and Swallow. We will contact you promptly to confirm your appointment with us.

Ready to Start Your Journey On Improving Your Speech & Articulation?