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When is Speech Therapy Needed?

Discover why speech therapy is critical for your child.

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), often informally known as speech therapists, are professionals educated in the study of human communication, its development, and its disorders.  A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds. A language disorder refers to a problem understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.

Speech disorders include:

  • Difficulties understanding or processing language.
  • Difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inabspeechility to use language in a socially
  • Difficulty with communication skills that involve memory, attention, perception, organization,regulation, and problem solving.
  • Disorders in the way someone eats or drinks, including problems with chewing, swallowing, coughing, gagging, and refusing foods.

Language intervention activities

The SLP will interact with a child by playing and talking, using pictures, books, objects, or ongoing events to stimulate language development. The therapist may also model correct vocabulary and grammar and use repetition exercises to build language skills.

Oral-motor/Feeding and Swallowing Therapy

The SLP may use a variety of oral exercises — including facial massage and various tongue, lip, and jaw exercises — to strengthen the muscles of the mouth for eating, drinking, and swallowing. The SLP may also introduce different food textures and temperatures to increase a child’s oral awareness during eating and swallowing.

Discover why speech therapy is critical for your child.

Kids might need speech-language therapy for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • hearing impairments
  • cognitive (intellectual, thinking) or other developmental delayLogopdin erklrt etwas der Patientin
  • weak oral muscles
  • chronic hoarseness
  • birth defects such as cleft lip or cleft palate
  • autism
  • motor planning problems
  • articulation problems
  • fluency disorders
  • respiratory problems (breathing disorders)
  • feeding and swallowing disorders
  • traumatic brain injury

Therapy should begin as soon as possible. Children enrolled in therapy early (before they’re 5 years old) tend to have better outcomes than those who begin therapy later.  This does not mean that older kids can’t make progress in therapy; they may progress at a slower rate because they often have learned patterns that need to be changed.

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