What is Speech Therapy?

There are many facets to speech therapy.  This can range from babies developing sounds to children communicating effectively with peers and adults.  Does your child have difficulty understanding words or using words to communicate? Does your child have difficulty with social communication skills that allow one to interact with friends?  Is your child’s speech difficult to understand? If so, your child may benefit from speech therapy.

Speech therapy is provided by a licensed speech pathologist.  Speech Pathologists are professionals who specialize in communication.  They work with children of all ages to improve their ability to communicate.  Therapy may be provided in the clinic, home, or school. Children receive either individual therapy or therapy within a group.  There are benefits to both!


Speech Pathologists focus on:

Articulation:  How we make speech sounds with our mouth, tongue or lips.  How we pronounce specific sounds or words so that we speak clearly and others can understand us.

Receptive Language:  How we understand what others say and follow directions.

Expressive Language:  How we communicate using words to request wants and needs and share ideas and thoughts.

Social Communication:  Social communication is often called “pragmatics.”  This includes greeting peers, taking turns when talking and staying on topic when conversing.  Pragmatics also include using appropriate facial expressions and eye contact and using appropriate body language.    

Fluency:  Fluency is also called “stuttering” and is how well our speech flows.  Children who stutter may repeat sounds, words or phrases. They may pause when they are talking.  Some children may stutter for a period of time but then outgrow it.

Voice:  How our voice sounds to others and how we use our vocal folds to make sounds.  If we are speaking too softly others may not be able to hear or understand us. If we are speaking too loudly and yelling too much we may hurt our vocal folds and our voice may be raspy or hoarse.

Feeding and Swallowing:  How we suck, chew and swallow food and liquid.   

If you have concerns in any of these areas, speech therapy may be appropriate for your child.

Blog Posted By:  
Oak Tree Developmental Center

Attributed Sources:

ASHA: Who Are Speech-Language Pathologists, and What Do They Do?

ASHA:  What is Speech?  What is Language