Pediatric Speech Therapy
What is Pediatric Speech Therapy?
Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) address communication and swallowing disorders in patients. If a child has trouble comprehending or expressing spoken or written language, a speech-language pathologist can help. SLPs help a child understand and use vocabulary, grammar, and the social aspects of language and metalinguistic skills. Some children respond to traditional therapy interventions while others may benefit from use of an alternative or augmentative communication system.
SLPs also assist children with articulation, voice, and fluency disorders. All children develop the sounds that make up words at different rates. However, when a child’s development in this area falls below developmental norms or affects his or her ability to be understood, an articulation disorder may be suspected.
Finally, if an individual has difficulty with any aspect of swallowing, an SLP can assist in the development or rehabilitation of the oral and pharyngeal stages of swallowing.
Our pediatric speech-language pathologists specialize in speech and communication disorders, as well as swallowing disorders. SLPs work with patients on components of speech production and language, as well as oral motor and feeding.
Components of speech production include phonation, the process of sound production; resonance, opening and closing of the vocal folds; intonation, the variation of pitch; and voice, including aeromechanical components of respiration.
Components of language include phonology, the manipulation of sound according to the rules of the language; morphology, the understanding and use of the minimal units of meaning; syntax, the grammar or principles and rules for constructing sentences in language; semantics, the interpretation of meaning from the signs or symbols of communication; and pragmatics, the social aspects of communication.
Our hope is to set goals with the patient and family and do everything we can to help a child reach their personal best. The family is a key component in optimizing therapy outcomes. We want all of our families to feel that they are involved and knowledgeable about the therapy and care their children are receiving, because help and follow-through at home can make a world of difference in the effectiveness of therapy.