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Areas of Practice

Speech & Occupational Therapy Treatment in Hartland, MI

Uncovering Passion in Diverse Speech & Occupational Therapy Expertise

At Leigh Harter Speech Services, we invite you to uncover the profound passion that fuels our treatment approach. Our devoted team is wholeheartedly dedicated to improving lives through a range of specialized services designed to meet the unique needs of every individual. Take a closer look at our heartfelt approach to speech and occupational therapy and embark on a transformative journey towards improving your quality of life.

young boy

Acquired Brain Injury

Speech and Occupational Therapy play a crucial role in aiding individuals with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABIs) by addressing communication and functional challenges. ABIs can result from various causes, including traumatic events such as car accidents, falls, or alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD), medical conditions like strokes or tumors, and infectious diseases like encephalitis. Therapy can help by improving speech and language skills, cognitive functions, and daily living abilities in those affected by these injuries.

Activities of Daily Living

Occupational Therapy (OT) encompasses all of our meaningful daily activities that we want or need to do on a daily basis. Some of these activities, or “Occupations,” are also commonly referred to as “self-care” and include bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and eating. OT also helps with other daily tasks such as walking, shopping, lifting, cooking, and many other daily activities of life.


Aphasia is the impairment or absence of comprehension and/or communication skills as a result of an injury to the brain’s language center. It can apply to spoken or written words and numbers and is most commonly associated with stroke and brain injury. It is characterized by a disturbance of the comprehension and formulation of language. It is loss of language, NOT cognition. 


Apraxia is the difficulty and/or inability to execute purposeful and coordinated movements even though the person has the desire to speak and the mouth and tongue muscles are physically able to form words. This often results in rearranged sounds within words.  


The ability to obtain and sustain appropriate attention to a task while filtering out irrelevant stimulation in order to focus on the information that is important in the moment. This can be influenced by motivation, self-esteem, sensory integration, practice, language difficulties and any existing diagnosis. This can result in difficulties learning new skills, successful social interactions, learning and broadening a repertoire of play skills, inability to follow instructions, receptive (understanding) language, and auditory processing (accurately understanding verbal information).

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Speech and Occupational Therapy are instrumental in supporting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by addressing communication and sensory challenges. These therapies assist individuals with ASD in developing effective communication skills, managing sensory sensitivities, and improving their social interactions, contributing to a more fulfilling and inclusive life.


Cognitive rehabilitation services address difficulties in areas such as attention, memory, organization, visuoperception, problem-solving, self-monitoring, and self-awareness in order to maximize an individual’s safety, daily functioning, independence, social participation, and quality of life. Treatment of this area includes increasing awareness of deficits, goal setting, compensation, internalization of strategies so they become more automatic and generalize to wider context. 


Dysarthria is difficulty in articulating words due to a disturbance in the central nervous system often resulting in slow and slurred speech. Treatment involves intensive focus on oral-motor skill development.

Dysphagia/Feeding Disorders

Dysphagia is difficulty in swallowing food, liquids, and even saliva, due to muscle weakness or paralysis. Individuals may experience mild to severe difficulties when swallowing, including: Coughing, choking or throat-clearing while eating or drinking, throat pain or discomfort, sensation of food sticking the mouth, throat or upper chest, or gurgling noises when speaking. Feeding disorder happens when an infant or child has trouble eating or refuses to eat. Feeding difficulties may be an effect of underlying medical complications, but may also be related to sensory and behavioral issues. Symptoms of a feeding disorder may include: refusal to eat, trouble swallowing, taking longer than normal to eat or drink, vomiting, choking, gagging, and behavioral difficulties.

Executive Functioning

This is the cognitive processes that enable us to plan, focus our attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully in various environments. The brain needs this skill set to filter distractions, prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and control impulses. Executive functioning helps you manage time, pay attention, switch focus, plan and organize, remember details, avoid saying or doing the wrong thing, do things based on your experience, and multi-task.

Fine Motor Coordination

This crucial skill involves the precise coordination of these small muscles to perform intricate movements with accuracy and control. Individuals sometimes need help of an OT for maintaining or regaining control of their fine motor skills to accomplish many actions required for daily activities of life. Fine motor coordination refers to the adept utilization of the intricate hand and finger muscles to skillfully grasp, manipulate, and manage objects essential for tasks like self-care, feeding, and writing.

Gross Motor Coordination

By assessing individual needs, OTs guide individuals towards improved coordination, balance, and strength, ultimately enhancing their overall quality of life. Gross motor coordination involves harnessing the power of major muscle groups for purposeful movement, and OTs play a crucial role in enhancing this ability. Through tailored interventions and exercises, OTs can help individuals refine their gross motor skills, enabling them to navigate their environment more effectively, perform self-care tasks with confidence, engage in recreational activities, and excel in their work-related responsibilities.

Home Evaluation & Modification

Injuries, illnesses, or progressive diseases may make an individual’s home no longer safe or functional. A home evaluation is an assessment of the home environment to determine safety and accessibility. Modifications may then be performed, and/or equipment recommended, to allow for increased access, safety, and to facilitate independence to allow individuals to remain in their own home. 


Speech and Occupational Therapy can significantly improve literacy skills by addressing issues related to language, fine motor coordination, and sensory processing, making it easier for individuals to read and write with confidence. For those struggling with dyslexia or specific reading difficulties, the benefits of using an Orton Gillingham certified tutor are especially valuable, as this approach provides highly structured, multisensory techniques that cater to individual learning needs, enhancing reading and spelling proficiency.

Neurological Disorders

Most familiar brain disorders include dementia, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s Disease, epilepsy, ALS, and Parkinson’s disease. This also includes aquired or traumatic brain injury. These disorders can develop due to a variety of factors, such as genetic predisposition, aging, or head injuries sustained in accidents or sports. Therapy interventions provide crucial support in managing the cognitive, speech, and motor difficulties often associated with these disorders, enhancing individuals’ quality of life and functional independence.

Oral Myofunctional Disorders

Speech Therapy plays a crucial role in treating Oral Myofunctional Disorders, which involve improper muscle function and coordination in the mouth and face, leading to issues such as tongue thrust, lisping, and difficulties with speech and swallowing. These disorders can be caused by various factors, including thumb-sucking in childhood, pacifier use, or structural abnormalities in the mouth. Speech and Language Pathologists can help individuals retrain their oral muscles for improved speech clarity and overall oral function.

Parkinson's Disease

Speech and Occupational Therapy offer vital assistance to individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that can be acquired primarily through genetic factors, environmental toxins, or idiopathically with no known cause. Speech and Occupational Therapy help improve speech clarity, swallowing difficulties, and enhance motor skills, enabling those with Parkinson’s to better manage their daily activities and maintain a higher quality of life.

Play Skills

Play is the way in which children learn about themselves, the environment around them, and develop important social skills. Play skills consist of planning, sequencing, executive functioning, problem solving, language, and self-regulation in either solitary play or play with peers. 

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome is often referred to as a mTBI complex disorder in which various symptoms — such as headaches and dizziness — last for weeks and sometimes months after the injury that caused the concussion. Symptoms frequently reported include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, loss of concentration and memory, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), blurry vision, noise and light sensitivity, and occasionally decreases in taste and smell.


Verbal and non-verbal social language skills including skills for using language for different reasons (e.g., greeting, stating, demanding, informing, requesting), modifying language based on listener and setting, and following the rules of conversations. This can result in difficulty joining in on social play, working with others at school, or just interacting appropriately with peers, co-workers, and/or family members.

Range of Motion/Strength

The ability to move each part of the body, with the appropriate amount of strength, is necessary to accomplish all daily living activities. Impairments in movement and strength of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs can result in decreased independence with important daily living activities. 

Reflex Integration

Each child is born with primitive reflexes that are essential to help them develop and keep them safe. However, it is important that these reflexes disappear as the child ages. Reflex integration therapy is necessary to phase out primitive reflexes that are no longer useful as they can cause challenges. 


In the realm of self-regulation, which involves comprehending and controlling emotions and their consequent behaviors, occupational therapists (OT) and speech-language pathologists (SLP) assume a vital role. By employing tailored strategies and interventions, SLPs aid individuals in developing effective emotional awareness and management skills. Through their expertise, individuals can cultivate the capacity to navigate their feelings, leading to improved interpersonal interactions and overall emotional well-being.

Sensory Regulation

Occupational therapists play a significant role in the support and development for sensory regulation, which involves organizing sensory information for practical utilization. Through targeted techniques and interventions, OTs aid individuals in developing effective sensory processing skills, enabling them to better manage their responses to sensory stimuli. By collaborating with OTs, individuals can enhance their ability to process sensory information, resulting in improved comfort, engagement, and participation in various daily activities.

Traumatic Brain Injury

An injury to the brain can occur as the result of trauma, a tumor or a disease. Brain injuries often result in physical disabilities as well as significant changes in language, memory, thinking, behavior and personality. No two injuries are alike nor do they create the same challenges for patients and their families. Recovery from brain injury does not end when a patient is transitioned from the inpatient program. Rather, recovery continues long after the return home.

Visual Perception

Visual perception is the cognitive process that allows us to interpret and comprehend visual information received through our eyes. It is the foundation for a wide range of daily activities, enabling us to engage in self-care, read and write, play, participate in sports, prepare meals, shop, drive, and much more. Our ability to process and make sense of the visual world plays a vital role in our daily functioning and interactions.


Voice disorders are typically categorized as functional, organic, and/or psychogenic and occur when pitch, quality, or intensity differ for an individual’s age, gender, cultural background, or geographic location. Some voice problems last for a short time while others may last longer. These disorders can include vocal fold nodules, polyps, vocal fold paralysis, paradoxical vocal fold movement (PVFM), or  spasmodic dysphonia.