What is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is a specialized intervention focused on improving a child's speech and abilities to understand and express language, including non-verbal communication. It addresses challenges with language, articulation, voice, fluency, and swallowing. Speech therapists, or speech-language pathologists (SLPs), use various techniques tailored to the individual child's needs.
Who Conducts Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is conducted by certified and trained professionals known as speech-language therapists (SLTs). These individuals have completed the necessary education and clinical training in the evaluation and treatment of speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. They are licensed by regulatory bodies and often hold certifications from professional organizations.
Who Needs Speech Therapy?
Language Delay: Language delay is a failure in children to develop language abilities on the usual age-appropriate developmental milestones.
Speech Clarity Difficulty: Delay in the development of the mechanical and motor aspects of speech production. It may affect one’s speech clarity and how a child imitates speech.
Stuttering: Stammering or stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by repetitions (li-li-li-like this), prolongations (llllllllike this), or abnormal stopages.
Selective Mutism: A condition when a child does not speak in certain situations, like at school, but speaks at other times, like at home.
Feeding Disorder: Feeding disorders include problems gathering food and getting ready to suck, chew, or swallow.
Learning Disabilities: Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems and are not due to laziness. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing, and mathematical skills.
How is Speech Therapy Different from Other Therapies?
While speech therapy focuses on communication and swallowing, other therapies and language programs might focus solely on language acquisition or enrichment, without addressing the broader range of communication challenges that speech therapy does.