SLP working with a child

Speech-language therapists, also known as speech-language pathologists (SLP), work with people who have communication disorders, or difficulties getting across their thoughts, ideas, and feelings to other people. You can find a speech-language therapist in your area through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association's ProSearch Database.

People all across the lifespan, from birth to old age, can have communication disorders. SLPs work in three main areas:

  • Speech: The actual sounds involved in speaking words. Often therapy for speech (also called articulation) disorders works on sounds or groups of sounds which a child is not saying correctly. Another example of a speech disorder is stuttering.
  • Children might learn to form sounds correctly using their tongue, teeth and lips, or practice varying the melody of their speech to sound more natural.
  • Language: There are many different parts of language that a child may need to work on in therapy. A speech therapist may work with a child who is having trouble understanding others (receptive language), or they may work with a child who is having trouble sharing their thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language).
  • Social Communication: This area of communication is often called pragmatics. It includes all the parts of langauge that are not words, such as facial expression, eye gaze, gestures, and tone. Speech therapists work with individuals who have social-pragmatic disorders to help them improve their ability to interact with others in a social environment.

Speech therapy may sound like a lot of work, but most often the speech-language therapist (SLP) will find ways to make it fun! Speech therapists who work with children work through play, games, and activities.

Parents can help their children practice improving their speech and language in creative and interesting ways at home too!


(The information on this page was retrieved from: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/)