Speech therapy is necessary for children who are not intelligible (or understood) by their communicative partner(s). Although some speech errors are developmental in nature, persistent errors can significantly impact basic communication, language development, literacy skills, and social-emotional development. If you are concerned that your child isn’t being understood by others, he or she may need to be evaluated for an articulation or phonological disorder.
Language is how we communicate with others. Language disorders can impact expressive language (words we use), receptive language (words we understand), or a combination of the two. Your child may need language intervention if he or she struggles with vocabulary, grammar, figurative language, remembering or processing longer amounts of linguistic information, reading and writing, or appropriate use of language (knowing when/how to use it.)
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) uses a variety of techniques and tools, including picture communication boards, line drawings, speech-generating devices (SGDs), tangible objects, manual signs, gestures, and finger spelling, to help the individual express thoughts, wants and needs, feelings, and ideas. AAC may be used for a short period of time, or permanently, as when used by an individual who will require the use of some form of AAC throughout his/her lifetime.
Dysfluency also known as stuttering is a speech disorder in which sounds, syllables, or words are repeated or prolonged, disrupting the normal flow of speech. These speech disruptions may be accompanied by struggling behaviors, such as rapid eye blinks or tremors of the lips. Stuttering can make it difficult to communicate with other people, which often affects a person’s quality of life.
A child with a feeding disorder does not consume enough food or liquid, which in turn, affects their growth and weight gain. A child with a feeding disorder, may only eat a few foods, completely avoiding entire food groups, textures, or liquids necessary for proper development. As a result, children diagnosed with feeding disorders are at greater risk for compromised physical and cognitive development.