Speech & Language Therapy
What are speech and language disorders?
“When a child is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder. Difficulties pronouncing sounds, or articulation disorders and stuttering are examples of speech disorders” (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2010).
“When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language) or sharing thoughts, ideas and feelings completely (expressive language) then he or she has a language disorder” (ASHA, 2010). Language disorders can include difficulties in the following areas:
- Semantics – ability to understand and use vocabulary
- Syntax – ability to understand and use grammar
- Morphology – ability to understand and use units of language (affixes, prefixes, etc.)
- Phonology – ability to understand and manipulate sounds
- Pragmatics – ability to understand and use social language, both verbal and nonverbal
What are the components of speech production?
- Respiration – the process of coordinating breathing for sound production
- Resonation – the opening and closing of the vocal folds
- Intonation – the variation of pitch
- Phonation/Articulation – the process of sound production
Speech and language disorders can be the result of an acquired, developmental or congenital condition. Speech and language therapists utilize a variety of methods to assess and treat children with a variety of conditions.
Speech language pathologists treat a variety of disorders and conditions including:
- Phonological (articulation) difficulties
- Expressive and receptive language delays
- Craniofacial disorders (cleft lip/palate)
- Swallowing and feeding disorders
- Voice disorders
Individuals with the following conditions may benefit from speech and language therapy:
- Down Syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Hearing Loss
- Learning disabilities
- Developmental delays
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Genetic conditions with associated speech and language difficulties
- Cognitive disorders
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) website provides information and resources for the public including:
- Information on Hearing and Balance
- Health Insurance
- Speech, language and swallowing
- Additional resources such as books on communication
Website at www.asha.org/public
Information on the Idaho Medicaid program for children as well as links to the Katie Beckett application can be found at www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2010. The Public. Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/public