In recent parent-teacher conferences, the teacher perhaps expressed concern that your kid could have an issue with particular language or speech skills. Or maybe while speaking to your kid, you recognized some occasional stutters.  

Speech-Language Therapy

Could your kid have an issue? If so, what should be done? 

It is advisable to make certain actions as soon as you recognize that your child has speech problems. As a matter of fact, an evaluation done by a professional and licensed speech language therapist can greatly help determine if your kid is dealing with some problems in speech. Speech-language therapy is basically the treatment for most children with language and/or speech disorders.  

Feeding Disorders, Language Disorders and Speech Disorders 

A language disorder refers to an issue knowing and putting words together in order to communicate ideas. While on the other hand, a speech disorder refers to an issue with the actual sound production.  

Language disorder can be either expressive or receptive: 

Expressive Language Disorder – limited vocabulary, unable to use language appropriately in public places or difficulty putting words together. 

Receptive Language Disorder – difficulty processing or understanding language. 

Cognitive-Communication Disorder – difficulty with communication skills which involve problem solving, regulation, organization, perception, attention as well as memory. 

Oral feeding disorder or dysphagia is a disorder in the way the individual drinks or eats which includes problems in refusing, gagging, coughing, swallowing and chewing foods.  

Speech disorder may include the following: 

Fluency Disorder – are problems like stuttering, in which the speech flow is disrupted by prolonging syllables and sounds, partial-word repetitions or abnormal stoppages. 

Articulation Disorder – saying words incorrectly or difficulty producing sounds in syllables to the point the listeners cannot understand what is being said. 

Voice or Resonance Disorder – problem with the quality, pitch or volume of the voice which distract the listeners from what is being said. These kinds of disorders can also cause discomfort or pain for the child when talking.  

Speech-language pathologists or SLPs, oftentimes termed as speech therapists, are certified professionals educated in the field of human communication, its disorders and its development. As a matter of fact, a speech therapist holds a master’s degree as well as state licensure or certification in the study. 

SLPs assess oral/swallowing/feeding, speech, language and cognitive-communication skills in order to determine the types of communication problems such as receptive, voice, fluency, articulation and expressive language disorders, and the perfect way to treat these disorders.  

Remediation 

An SLP may work with a kid directly in a room or in a small group in order to overcome difficulties with a specific problem. 

Speech therapists use different styles or strategies such as: 

  1. Articulation Therapy– sound production or articulation, exercises involving the therapist correct the syllables and sounds in sentences and words for the child. 
  2. Language Intervention Activities– the speech therapist will interact with the child by talking and playing, using objects, books, pictures or ongoing events in order to stimulate language development.
  3. Oral-Motor/Swallowing and Feeding Therapy– the speech therapist will use different oral exercises which may include facial massage as well as various jaw, lip and tongue exercises.