Two children outside amongs trees and in embrace

Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy is used as a means of treatment for children who have language disorders or speech disorders, or a speech delay, and it’s performed by a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). According to KidsHealth.org, there are different types of language and speech disorders. The types of language disorders include:

  • Cognitive Communication Disorders: These involve problems with communication, such as memory, problem solving, attention, perception, and organization.
  • Expressive Disorders: Expressive disorders refer to having issues with using language, putting together words, or a problem with vocabulary.
  • Receptive Disorders: This refers to difficulty with processing and understanding language.
  • There are also different types of speech disorders:

  • Articulation Disorders: Saying words incorrectly so people cannot understand what is being said, and also problems with sounds and syllables.
  • Fluency Disorders: Problems such as stuttering, where the speech is interrupted.
  • Voice Disorders: Issues with the pitch or sounds of the words that are being spoken.
  • Speech Language Pathologists may also treat children who have problems with feeding or swallowing. According to asha.org, they are also trained to: 

  • Provide aural rehabilitation for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Provide augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems for individuals with severe expressive and/or language comprehension disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder or progressive neurological disorders.
  • Work with people who don't have speech, language, or swallowing disorders, but want to learn how to communicate more effectively (e.g., work on accent modification or other forms of communication enhancement).
  • In terms of children who have special needs, Speech Therapy may prove particularly beneficial to children with Autism, a Traumatic Brain Injury, or learning disorders or disabilities. Speech Therapy is often part of a child’s IEP program at school, so therapy can be done as part of their curriculum. Speech Therapy is also used to help neurotypical children who have a developmental delay.

    Autism:

    Speech Therapy can be beneficial to children on the Autism spectrum who make grunting or shrieking noises, who don’t talk at all, who babble, who hum, use odd-sounding words, or who tend to repeat what other people say. 

    According to Autism Speaks, Speech Language Pathologists can help kids with Autism not only work on their speech skills, but also communication, and social skills. They may work with them in different settings to teach them how to more effectively communicate with family members, teachers, and other people they are in social situations with.

    They can also work with children with Autism to develop a means of communicating through pictures or technology, which is called Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC). As the site states, examples of AAC methods include:

  • Sign language
  • Picture exchange communication system (PECS)
  • iPads
  • Speech output devices (such as Dynavox)
  • This video provides a great example of how SLPs work with a non-verbal child:

    Children who have sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury may have various problems with speech that require Speech Therapy, including trouble using or finding the right words, problems with memory, trouble speaking at all, disorganized speech, trouble with understanding language, and issues with eating and swallowing.

    This video from Cincinnati Children's Hospital gives a good overview of what parents can expect during a typical Speech Therapy session:

    Where Can I Find a Speech Language Pathologist:

    Asha.org has a database of SLPs that is searchable by state where you can locate a therapist in your area. 


    *It’s important to note that we do not maintain this list of practitioners and cannot recommend or vouch for any given practitioner on the list. It is our hope that you will simply use this link as a jumping-off point for your own research. If you are a practitioner who uses Speech Therapy, we invite you to join our practitioner registry