Speech Pathologists can help with....
A speech pathologist is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders in adults and children. In children, the most common disorders are in the areas of language (understanding and expression), articulation (development of sounds), stuttering, voice, learning disability and autism.
This is the ability to express one’s thoughts and intentions. Children with expressive language problems:
- Have limited spoken vocabulary and use inappropriate words
- Make grammatical mistakes, for example, “her go outside” instead of “she goes outside”
- Use short sentences
This is the ability to understand another speaker’s verbal message. Children with receptive language problems:
- Have difficulty understanding language concepts, for example, big/little, next to/behind, first/last (younger children). An older child may seem to understand less than his or her peers
- Have difficulty following directions
- Can’t make sense of stories
This is the ability to produce the sounds of speech correctly. Children with articulation difficulties:
- Are hard to understand
- Leave sounds out
- Substitute one sound for another
- Distort sounds
Stuttering is a disruption in the smooth flow of speech to the extent that it interferes with effective communication and causes distress to a child and his/her audience. Children who stutter:
- Repeat sounds, syllables, words or phrases
- Lengthen out some sounds
- Block (get “stuck” on sounds)
- Avoid eye contact
- Show facial or bodily tension when speaking
Children with autism spectrum disorders (Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder) have difficulty in the areas of communication, behavior and social awareness/interaction.