• What is Speech-Language Therapy?
    Speech and language skills are vital for academic success and learning.  Learning takes place through the process of communication, and language is the foundation of communication.  The ability to communicate with peers and adults in the educational setting is essential for a student to succeed in school.  Speech-language pathologists help children and adults comprehend and use language in all of its forms: gesturing, listening, speaking, reading and writing (asha.org).  A speech-language pathologist may work with a child in one or more of the following areas:
    LANGUAGE – impaired comprehension and/or use of spoken language, which may include:
    • Language Form
      • Phonology - how the sounds within a language are combined to convey meaning (for example, "pat" means something different than "bat").  Phonological awareness is the awareness of sounds in words.  This awareness is a critical bridge between speaking and reading.  Phonological awareness skills include rhyming, alliteration (each word begins with the same sound), blending (putting together) and segmenting (taking apart) syllables, and blending/segmenting sounds in a word.  Difficulties in phonological awareness skills often impact spelling and reading. 
      • Morphology - the choice of word forms and word endings that are used to express a thought (past tense markers, plurals, etc.).
      • Syntax - the rules we use to combine words into sentences (grammar).
    • Language Content refers to vocabulary/knowledge about objects/events, the understanding and/or use of words to express ideas, our reason or purpose for talking (such as requesting an object/information, expressing thoughts/feelings, etc.). 
    • Language Use - Pragmatics - social communication skills, such as how to begin, take turns, maintain a topic during conversation as well as understanding nonverbal communication. 

    SPEECH – impairment in production of speech sounds, fluency and/or voice. 

    • Articulation – difficulty with production of speech sounds.
      "Speech Sound Disorders: Articulation and Phonology" American Speech-Language Hearing Association
    • Fluency – interruption of the flow of speech that may include hesitations, repetitions, prolongations of sounds or words (stuttering). 
    • Voice – quality of voice that may include hoarseness, nasality, and/or volume (too loud or soft).  "Voice Disorders" American Speech-Language Hearing Association
    AUDITORY PROCESSING -  "what you do with what you hear" (Jack Katz, 1992).  Students with auditory processing difficulties may have weakness in auditory memory (remembering information presented orally) and/or discriminating/sequencing sounds and words.  Some students with auditory processing needs may also have difficulty in the area of phonological awareness.
    "Understanding Auditory Processing Disorders in Children" American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    "Getting Your Child Ready for Reading and Writing" American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Last Modified on January 3, 2019