Speech Therapy

In a recent parent-teacher conference, maybe the teacher expressed concern that your child could have a problem with certain speech or language skills. Or perhaps while talking to your child, you noticed an occasional stutter.

Could your child have a problem? And if so, what should you do?

It’s wise to intervene quickly. An evaluation by a certified speech-language pathologist can help find out if your child is having problems. Speech-language therapy is the treatment for most kids with speech and/or language disorders.

Speech Disorders, Language Disorders, and Feeding Disorders

A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds. A language disorder refers to a problem understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.

Speech disorders include:

  • Articulation disorders: difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly to the point that listeners can’t understand what’s being said.
  • Fluency disorders: problems such as stuttering, in which the flow of speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages, partial-word repetitions (“b-b-boy”), or prolonging sounds and syllables (sssssnake).
  • Resonance or voice disorders: 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 a child when speaking.

Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive:

  • Receptive disorders: difficulties understanding or processing language.
  • Expressive disorders: difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.
  • Cognitive-communication disorders: difficulty with communication skills that involve memory, attention, perception, organization, regulation, and problem solving.

Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders are disorders in the way someone eats or drinks, including problems with chewing, swallowing, coughing, gagging, and refusing foods.