Speech & Language Therapy
Who provides speech and language therapy?
Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of speech, language and swallowing disorders. At Child Development Services (CDS) licensed SLPs and speech assistants provide therapy services to children who qualify for services.
What is Speech Therapy
Speech therapy focuses on the remediation of articulation, or specific sound errors. As typically developing children age, they acquire sounds in a largely predictable, sequenced manner. Some children have difficulty producing specific sounds, and benefit from speech therapy to help them develop these skills. These difficulties can be caused by differences in the structures of the child’s mouth (lips, teeth, tongue, palate), hearing loss (including recurrent or persistent ear infections) or other factors that may not be as obvious. Children who have many articulation errors can be difficult to understand, especially to people unfamiliar to the child. SLPs help to increase a child’s intelligibility, or how well the child is understood, during speech therapy activities.
Phonological process patterns may also be treated during speech therapy. Phonological processes are patterns in a child’s speech which also affect intelligibility. For example, if a child makes sounds only in the front of the mouth, avoiding sounds created in the back of the mouth such as the “k” or “g” sounds, then there may be a phonological process present. This child might say “bipe” for the word “bike” or “did” for the word “dig.” SLPs work with children who use these patterns in their speech to reduce the frequency that the phonological process is used in order to increase intelligibility.
What is Language Therapy?
Language therapy focuses on remediation of receptive and/or expressive language skills.
Receptive language consists of a child’s ability to comprehend words, gestures and even facial expressions. Language therapy for receptive language skills will be tailored to your child’s specific needs. When remediating receptive language, SLPs may work on your child’s ability to demonstrate understanding of some or all of the following concepts:
- Correct interpretation of facial expressions and gestures (understanding that nodding your head means yes)
- Following directions (child gets shoes and attempts to put them on when you say “Get your shoes on.”)
- Vocabulary development (words for objects, words for actions, words to help describe something)
- Pronouns (his, hers, mine)
- Spatial concepts (in, under, off)
- Quantitative concepts (how many, more, less)
- Negatives in sentences (No markers.)
Expressive language consists of verbal language skills, as well as written language skills as the child develops. Language therapy for expressive language skills will also be tailored to your child’s specific needs. When remediating expressive language, SLPs may work on your child’s ability to demonstrate some of the following behaviors:
- Gestural response to speaker (smiles at speaker)
- Vocal behaviors such as cooing and babbling before words are spoken
- Imitation of facial expressions and gestures
- Naming objects (teddy bear), actions (jumping), or descriptive terms (blue, long, big)
- Combines words into short phrases and sentences
- Requesting items
- Asking and answering questions
- Use of age-appropriate grammatical concepts (“He is jumping.” vs. “He jump.”
Note: While speech services focus on the actual production of the sounds of speech, language services focus on the production of meaningful messages and being able to understand the messages of others.
Who is eligible to recieve speech and language therapy at CDS?
Children ages birth through five years who have been evaluated in the areas of speech and language and who have qualifying scores are eligible to recieve speech and language services.
My child qualifies for speech therapy and language therapy. What does that mean?
If your child qualifies for both speech therapy and language therapy, a combination of the two therapy approaches will be used simultaneously to best meet your child’s communication goals.