Articulation Therapy and Assessment
Children with difficulty producing speech sounds come to speech for therapy to help correct the sounds so that they may be better understood. Prolonged speech sound disorders can impact a child’s self-esteem and make spelling difficult.
Voice Therapy and Assessment
Children who have prolonged vocal hoarseness come to therapy to learn how to use their voice nicely, without mistreating it. SLPs also refer some children to the ENT(ear, nose and throat doctor) to rule out any growths that can appear on the vocal chords from prolonged vocal abuse.
Language Therapy and Assessment
Speech Language Pathologists assess and treat children with delays in vocabulary and syntax/grammar or other language disorders. This includes “late talkers”.
Auditory Processing and Comprehension Deficits
Children who have difficulty understanding spoken language come to speech therapy. Children with auditory processing deficits have difficulty distinguishing and discriminating speech sounds. Children with comprehension issues have difficulty with word meaning, sequencing skills and problem solving.
Pragmatic Language Disorders
There are children who have difficulty using language properly in social contexts.These children come to therapy and learn how to greet others, introduce conversation, make eye contact, use proper body language and other important social skills.
Weak tongue and/or lip muscles can decrease the clarity of speech. Oral muscle weakness can also effect the ability to chew properly. Speech therapists often employ oral activities to strengthen these muscles. Some children may also demonstrate difficulties coordinating the movement of structures in the mouth during speech. These difficulties are called apraxia. Treatment includes structured practice of speech movements.
Children with myofunctional disorders typically demonstrate a tongue thrust when eating and lisp when producing sounds such as “s and z” Myofunctional problems are characterized by a flat, weak tongue that always pushes against the front teeth.Therapy focuses on reducing the tongue thrust which also reduces difficulties with speech
Some children have difficulty eating, drinking, and swallowing. Some even have a hard time tolerating food textures which inhibit them from gaining proper nutrition. Speech language pathologists can help set up a feeding program that indicates what foods are appropriate or inappropriate for the child. There are also many techniques that help the child eat and drink safely including modifying the texture of foods and positioning the body.
Dysfluency presents as repetition, blocks, or prolongation of sounds, words or phrases during speech. Speech Language Pathologists assist children by teaching strategies to encourage “smooth” speech.