What is Speech Therapy?

  • Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) work to prevent, access, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cogntive-communication, and swallowing disorders in childen and adults. SLPs can work in multiple settings: schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and private practice. SLPs can work with people at any age. The following is a description on what an SLP can do in the school environment: 

    • Speech disorders occur when a person has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or fluently (e.g., stuttering is a form of disfluency) or has problems with his or her voice or resonance.
    • Language disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language). Language disorders may be spoken or written and may involve the form (phonology, morphology, syntax), content (semantics), and/or use (pragmatics) of language in functional and socially appropriate ways.
    • Social communication disorders occur when a person has trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication. These disorders may include problems (a) communicating for social purposes (e.g., greeting, commenting, asking questions), (b) talking in different ways to suit the listener and setting, and (c) following rules for conversation and story-telling. All individuals with autism spectrum disorder have social communication problems. Social communication disorders are also found individuals with other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury.
    • Cognitive-communication disorders include problems organizing thoughts, paying attention, remembering, planning, and/or problem-solving. These disorders usually happen as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or dementia, although they can be congenital.
    • Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) are feeding and swallowing difficulties, which may follow an illness, surgery, stroke, or injury.


  • Here is some terms you might come across: 

    • Language: There are 2 components to language- receptive and expressive language. 
      • Receptive language- what a child understands
      • Expressive language- what a child expresses