Speech-Language Pathology

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work with children to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat disorders of speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing.

  • Speech disorders occur when a child has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or fluently (e.g., stuttering is a type of disfluency), or when he or she has problems with voice or resonance.

  • Language disorders occur when a child has difficulty understanding others (receptive language) or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language).

  • When a child struggles with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication, he or she has a social communication disorder. These disorders may include difficulties with (a) communicating for social purposes (e.g., greeting, commenting, and asking questions), (b) speaking in different ways to suit the listener and setting, and (c) following conversation and story-telling rules. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder all struggle with social communication. Individuals with other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury, may also have social communication disorders.

  • Problems organizing thoughts, paying attention, remembering, planning, and/or problem-solving are examples of cognitive-communication disorders.

​​​​​​​Additionally, SLPs:

  • Children who are deaf or hard of hearing can benefit from aural rehabilitation.

  • Assist children with severe expressive and/or language comprehension disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder or progressive neurological disorders, with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems.

  • Work with children who do not have speech, language, or swallowing disorders but want to improve their communication skills.