Speech & Language Therapy

Speech-language therapy is the treatment for most children with speech and/or language disorders.  A speech disorder refers to a problem with the  actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to difficulty  understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.


When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she may have a language disorder.Language is made up of socially shared rules that include the following:

  • What a word means (i.e.: “star” can refer to a bright object in the night sky or a celebrity)
  • How to make new words (i.e.: friend, friendly, unfriendly)
  • How to put words together (i.e.: “Jane walked to the new store” rather than “Jane walked store new”)
  • Which word combinations are best in certain situations (“Would you mind moving your foot?” could quickly change to “Get off my foot, please!” if the first request did not produce results)

Speech-Language Pathologists also serve children with Pragmatic Language Disorders, which refer to difficulties with  social language skills such as:  poor eye contact, excessive talking, inappropriate conversational topics, missing subtle  language cues, inability to interpret non-verbal language and facial expressions, difficulty understanding jokes and non-literal language, and difficulty relating to peers.


When a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she may have a speech disorder.Speech is the verbal means of communicating.  Speech consists of the following:

  • Articulation: How speech sounds are made (i.e.: children must learn how to produce the “r” sound in order to say “rabbit” instead of “wabbit”)
  • Voice: Use of vocal folds and breathing to produce sound (i.e.: the voice can be abused from overuse or misuse and can lead to hoarseness or loss of voice)
  • Fluency: The rhythm of speech (i.e.: hesitations or stuttering can affect  fluency)

Feeding/ Eating

Speech-language pathologists also treat feeding and eating disorders. This includes difficulties with chewing and swallowing, as well as difficulty tolerating or accepting a variety of age-appropriate foods.

* Some information provided by www.asha.org