Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) are also referred to as speech therapists (ST). SLPs study the development of human communication along with the many disorders that may affect it. They assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive, communication, voice, fluency and swallowing. In pediatrics they work with a variety of age groups and diagnoses such as:
- Speech Disorders
- Articulation disorders: when a child has difficulty producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly and hard to understand
- Fluency Disorders: when the flow of speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages, partial word repetition, or prolonged sounds and syllables
- Resonance or voice disorders: Problems with the pitch, the volume, or the quality of voice that makes it difficult to be understood or that distracts from what is being said.
- Language Disorders:
- Receptive: when a child has difficulty understanding or processing language
- Expressive: when a child has difficulty putting words together, has limited vocabulary, an inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.
- Cognitive communication disorders: having difficulty with communication skills that involve memory, attention, perception, organization, regulation, and problem solving.
- Dysphagia or Feeding Disorders:
- A disorder in the way someone eats and drinks;
- Problems with chewing swallowing, coughing or gagging;
- A refusal to eat certain foods due to aversion.
A Pediatric Speech Therapist also works with children with disorders such as:
- Hearing impairments
- Cognitive delays
- Weak oral muscles
- Motor planning
- Birth defects affecting facial and/or oral muscles
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Central Processing Disorders
- Cerebral Palsy
- Sensory Processing Disorders
Pediatric speech therapists (STs) will work to allow your child to communicate effectively and allow your child to reach their full potential. Being able to communicate effectively is essential to a child’s success at home, school and in the community.
What type of treatment can you expect if your child receives speech therapy services?
- Language disorders: a therapist my use play, conversation, pictures, books, other objects or ongoing events to stimulate language development. They encourage this with repetition exercises to build language skills.
- Articulation disorders: They can help a child by modeling correct sounds and syllables during play skills and reading activities. They may also demonstrate how to make certain sounds correctly with the proper movements of the mouth and tongue.
- Oral Motor and Feeding disorders: a therapist my use facial massage for oral motor muscle tone relaxation or activation, tongue, lip and jaw exercises for muscle strengthening to improve performance. They may also introduce different food textures and temperatures to improve your child’s oral awareness.
- Augmentative and alternative communication: Children who are non-verbal can benefit from the use of alternative communication devices and methods. There are a variety of tools which can be used and a speech therapist can assist in evaluating which would be the most appropriate and beneficial for your child.
A Speech Therapist, ST, can perform a formal evaluation of the various components related to speech and language development based on your child’s needs and diagnosis. They will explain the results of the evaluation and make their recommendations. Your child’s goals along with your family goals will be used to compose and implement an individualized treatment plan.
If you feel your child may benefit from speech therapy or if you have any concerns about your child’s development in any of the above mentioned areas, please feel free to contact us for a phone consultation to determine what your child’s needs are. If your child is a candidate for a Speech Therapy Evaluation, we can assist you in contacting your physician and initiate services. We look forward to working with you and your child.
Feel free to download any of the checklists below to review your child’s speech and language development.
To initiate Speech Therapy please Register Here and someone will contact you within 24-48 hours.
You can also contact us via Email by clicking here if you have questions or to set up a phone consultation.