WHAT IS SPEECH THERAPY?
Speech Therapy (ST) is provided by a speech-language pathologist "SLP".
SLPs diagnose and treat speech, language, social communication, and feeding/swallowing disorders in children and adults.
SLPs work with kids with a wide range of diagnoses ranging from speech and/or language deficits, hearing impairment, cleft lip/palate, apraxia, Down syndrome, dyslexia, autism, ADHD, and more.
A child can have a speech delay, a language delay, or both.
All may have trouble communicating, but the reasons why are different.
What is the difference between speech & language?
Speech is how we say sounds and words. Speech concerns focus on articulation, voice, or fluency.
Language is how we use and organize words to communicate. Language includes what words mean, how to make new words, how to put words together, and knowing what to say when.
How we make speech sounds using the mouth, teeth, and tongue.
Some common articulation difficulties in kids are
"wabbit" for "rabbit"
"lellow" for "yellow"
"fought" for "thought".
While these sound errors can be typical, a SLP can tell you if your child will outgrow these errors, or if they may need a little help.
How we use our vocal folds and breath to make sounds. Our voice can be loud or soft or high- or low-pitched.
Voice issues may present as breathy vocal quality, hoarseness, or a "squeaky" voice.
This is the rhythm of our speech. We sometimes repeat sounds or pause while talking.
A fluency concern presents as a stutter or "jumbled up" speech pattern.
The ability to use language to express our needs, thoughts, and ideas to others using gestures, words, phrases, or sentences.
Some common expressive language concerns present as
decreased vocabulary, inability to use a sentence or phrase accurately, difficulty sharing thoughts or having a conversation.
The ability to understand and comprehend spoken or written language. This is the "input" of language.
Receptive language concerns may present as difficulty following directions, difficulty learning new words, or an overall slow progression of language development.
What should my child's speech & language look like right now?