What is speech language pathology?

Speech Language Pathologists, informally known as speech therapists, is an individual who is trained and certified to work with the assessment, diagnosing, and treatment of all aspects of communication, including speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and more.

What is a communication disorder?

communication disorder is any disorder that affects somebody’s ability to communicate. The delays and disorders can range from simple sound substitution to the inability to understand or use one’s native language. Disorders in communication include speech, language, cognition, voice, swallowing, and fluency.

Speech is the verbal means of communicating which includes:

  1. Articulation: producing speech sounds correctly (i.e., correctly producing /r/ in “red” instead of “wed”)
  2. Voice: producing sound in a healthy manner to avoid hoarseness or loss of voice (i.e., talking with a clear sound that doesn’t hurt)
  3. Fluency: the rhythm of speech, which is disrupted by stuttering (i.e., repetitions of words/ parts of words, prolongations, blocking, and/or interjections).
  4. Phonological Processes: producing correct sound patterns (e.g., /g/ in “go” is incorrectly produced in the front of the mouth and turns into “ko”).
  5. Also includes Apraxia and Dysarthria.
Difficulties with any of these above areas would label an individual as having a speech delay or a speech impairment.

Language is broken into two categories including receptive and expressive.

  1.  Receptive language: understanding others (e.g., following directions, answering questions, identifying objects, etc.)
  2.  Expressive language: sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (e.g., asking questions, retelling an event, naming objects, etc.)
Difficulties in language would label an individual as having a language disorder or a difficulty with their language development.

A social communication disorder occurs when a person has difficulty with the social use of verbal and non verbal communication:

  1. communicating for social purposes (e.g., greeting, commenting, asking questions)
  2. talking appropriately for each listener and social setting (e.g., talking to a family member or a boss)
  3. following appropriate social rules for conversation and story-telling

Cognitive-communication disorders includes difficulty with memory (e.g., organizing thoughts, paying attention, remembering, planning, and/or problem solving).

Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) involves eating in a safe manner to avoid choking and/or aspiration which may follow an illness, surgery, stroke, or injury.

Who needs speech pathology/ speech therapy?

An individual may need speech therapy if they have difficulties with any aspect of communication, which includes but is not limited to disorders/ impairments involving speech sounds, language, hearing, voice, fluency, cognition, apraxia of speech, traumatic brain injury, autism, cleft lip/palate, tongue thrust, etc.

How long will therapy last?

There is no time frame for how long an individual will require speech/ language services. As every individual and case is unique, no time frame is able to be defined; however, the goal is always to transition out of requiring speech/ language services as quickly as possible to ensure individuals will be successful in all communicative environments.

 What can I do to help my child’s speech or language?

There is not one thing that will improve a child’s speech or language delay; however, contacting and collaborating with a speech language pathologist will be the best way to get the information to specifically help your child’s individual needs.

Our speech pathologist would love to meet with you and answer any questions you may have concerning your child’s speech and/or language, so please contact us today!