Speech and Language Therapy
At all ages, we communicate by listening and speaking. Students can have many different kinds of communication disorders. Special education services are available from our school’s speech and language pathologist (also called a speech therapist) to help diagnose and give speech therapy.
Articulation is the ability to pronounce speech sounds that form words. Speech sounds are not learned all at once, they are learned from infancy through 8 years of age. Some sounds are not mastered by many children until they are 7 or 8 , these include the S, R and TH sounds. You might hear errors such as “W” for the R sound (“wabbit”), or “TH” for S (“theven” for 7).
Children having problems understanding words and sentences, or problems expressing themselves, have a language disorder. The speech therapist looks at both the ability to comprehend and remember what is said, and the ability to communicate needs, thoughts and opinions. We also observe how a child uses language in social situations , to begin conversations and interact. Children develop their language skills as they grow, so the speech therapist compares your child’s language skills to what is typical for that age.
STUTTERING or FLUENCY DISORDERS
If a child repeats sounds and words, prolongs a sound in a word, or avoids talking because of difficulty “getting the words out”, a stuttering disorder may be diagnosed.
A child’s voice may sound hoarse, too low or high pitched, too nasal or “stuffed up” . We do need the help of a doctor to diagnose these problems and to determine what is causing the voice disorder.