What is Pediatric Speech Therapy?

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month- so that means we get to highlight the profession and why we love our speech therapists! Check out this article to learn more about pediatric speech therapy- who we are, what we do, how we do it and why speech therapy is so important.

Speech-language services are designed to optimize individuals’ ability to communicate, thereby improving quality of life.  The ultimate goal of therapy is to improve an individual’s functional outcomes. ASHA defines speech-language pathologists (SLPs) as individuals who work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication in swallowing disorders. Our speech-language pathologists at South Shore Therapies strive to improve all aspects of communication, including sound production, vocal quality, speech fluency, language understanding, language expression and social communication in a fun and nurturing environment.

What is Pediatric Speech Therapy?

What is Speech?

Speech is defined as how we say sounds and words. This includes:

  • Articulation: how we use our articulators (mouth, lips, tongue) to make speech sounds 
  • Voice: how we use our vocal folds and breath to make sounds
  • Fluency: the rhythm of our speech

 

What is Language?

Language is defined as the words we use and how we use them to share our thoughts and ideas. This includes:

  • Receptive Language: the ability to understand language. This includes understanding what words mean, how to make new words, how to put words together and knowing what to say depending on the environment and context we are communicating in. Receptive language not only encompasses understanding of words and vocabulary but is also responsible for the ability to understand gestures, follow instructions, understand stories and age-appropriate reading material, answer questions, point out objects and more.  
  • Expressive Language: the ability to express one’s thoughts, ideas, wants and needs through speech, writing, gestures, sign, or AAC.  

 

Here are a few areas that Speech-Language Pathologists can work on with your child:

  •  Fluency
    • Stuttering
    • Cluttering
  • Speech Production
    • Motor planning and execution
    • Articulation
    • Phonology
  • Language: spoken and written language (listening, processing, speaking, reading, writing, pragmatics)
    • Phonology: study of the speech sound system of a language, including the rules for combining and using speech sounds.
    • Syntax: the rules that pertain to the ways in which words can be combined to form sentences in a language.
    • Semantics; the meaning of words and combinations of words in a language
    • Pragmatics: the rules associated with the use of language in conversation and broader social situations.
    • Prelinguistic communication (e.g., joint attention, intentionality, communicative signaling)
    • Paralinguistic communication (e.g., gestures, signs, body language)
    • Literacy (reading, writing, spelling)
  • Cognition
    • Attention
    • Memory
    • Problem Solving
    • Voice
  • Voice and Resonance
    • Phonation quality
    • Pitch
    • Loudness
    • Hypernasality and hyponasality 

Collaboration is a critical component of speech-language pathology as well. SLP’s support, educate and collaborate with caregivers, teachers and other clinicians to implement strategies for supporting their clients across environments. Additionally, SLP’s coach families about strategies and supports for facilitating their child’s prelinguistic and linguistic communication skills.

 

Wondering if your child may benefit from speech therapy? Click HERE to view our speech and language checklist to determine if your child is meeting developmental markers.

 

We hope you found this post helpful. Click HERE to learn more about what services and supports South Shore Therapies has to offer. Results that make a difference.

 

Have a question for us or topic you want to learn more about? Send us an email at socialmedia@southshoretherapies.com. 

 

 

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