Updated: May 17
Many people don't realize all the things Speech Therapists are trained to work on to help support your child. The first thing that comes to mind for most people are articulation errors like /r/ or /s/ and stuttering. Speech Therapists actually do so much more!
Language - Language includes expressive language and receptive language (understanding language). This can include grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, organizing thoughts and sequencing a story, how to ask questions and understand questions when asked.
Social Language - Social language is the nonverbal part of communication. Facial expressions, body language, unspoken social rules and all those subtle clues we don't even realize we are giving each other when we interact.
Memory - Memory is an important part of learning. Speech Therapists help children and adults with tips and tricks on how to better remember important information.
Articulation - Articulation is how we say sounds in words. The most commonly mispronounced sounds by children in English are /r/, /l/, /s/ and /z/.
Phonological Disorders - Phonological disorders can look like articulation disorders, but they are really a language disorder. It is when a child substitutes sounds even though they can say the sound (where if they had an articulation disorder, they would struggle with being able to say the sound). Children with phonological disorders often say /gog/ for /dog/ or /tat/ for /cat/, but they can say the /d/ and /c/ in other words or alone. This is not uncommon in young children, it's only when it persists that it becomes a problem.
Apraxia - Apraxia is a motor planning disorder (coordination). Children with mild Apraxia might sound a little bit different, but children with moderate to severe Apraxia might be completely unintelligible. Sounds and short words are easier to say for children with Apraxia. Producing longer words and sentences can be very difficult.
Oral-Motor Weakness - Weakness of the lips, tongue and cheeks can cause articulation errors and make it difficult to understand.
Fluency/Stuttering - Everyone stutters a little bit now and then, but if your child stutters often or has developed secondary attributes like blinking or leg slapping, then it's time to get help.
Voice - Voice includes chronic hoarseness, vocal nodules, gender reassignment and vocal hygiene.
Swallowing - Swallowing disorders can potentially be life threatening. Speech Therapists assess swallowing abilities and offer techniques to help keep swallowing safe.
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