Speech Therapy & Language Therapy
Speech Therapy focuses on receptive language, the ability to understand words spoken to you, and expressive language, the ability to use words to express yourself. In addition, Speech Therapy offers treatment to many speech/language disorders.
Speech disorders include the following problems, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA):
- Articulation disorders include difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly to the point that other people can’t understand what’s being said.
- Fluency disorders include problems such as stuttering, the condition in which the flow of speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages, repetitions (st-st-stuttering), or prolonging sounds and syllables (ssssstuttering).
- Resonance or voice disorders include problems with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voice that distract listeners from what’s being said. These types of disorders may also cause pain or discomfort for the child when speaking.
- Dysphasia/oral feeding disorders, including difficulties with eating and swallowing.
- Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive:
- Receptive disorders refer to difficulties understanding or processing language.
- Expressive disorders include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.
Below is a list of basic descriptions of services
- Problems pronouncing words correctly
- Using incorrect consonants from words, such as saying wabbit instead of rabbit
Receptive/Expressive Language Delay
- Difficulty following directions to complete a task
- lack of words/vocabulary
- Inability to communicate basic wants and needs
- Repeating words or parts of words
- Twitching and blinking eyes while speaking
- Frustration and embarrassment which often decreases child’s desire to speak
Voice/Augmentative and Alternative Communication
- Child has a very nasal sounding voice
- Loses voice for days after excessive use
- Unable to use vocal communication
- Child doesn’t make eye contact
- Child doesn’t use greetings
- Child doesn’t respond to questions
- Child doesn’t express emotions
- Child doesn’t interact appropriately with adults or peers
Oral Motor/ Feeding Issues
- Underweight with coughing
- Vomiting or tearing eyes while eating
- Picky eaters
- Trouble chewing certain foods
- Trouble swallowing food
- Unable to read and spell words at same level as peers
- Teacher have suggested child might be dyslexic or learning disabled
- Trouble hearing the difference in words that are similar
Any of the above examples could be signs that your child could benefit from a Speech Therapy evaluation and/or treatment.
What to expect during a Speech/Language Evaluation
During your child’s initial evaluation, your therapist will determine whether your child has adequate strength and stability in their oral / facial musculature. Skills that are strengths and those that are challenging for your child will be identified. Motor planning skills, breathing, and physical skills related to speaking will be taken into account. Your therapist will explore your child’s history with speech sound and language development with you.
Standardized measures, informal observations, and parent report are all used to assess skills and determine areas that will be worked on in future therapy sessions.