Speech-language pathology is a field of expertise practiced by a clinician known as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or a speech therapist. SLP is considered a “related health profession” or “allied health profession” .
SLPs specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of communication disorders (speech disorders and language disorders), cognitive-communication disorders, voice disorders, and swallowing disorders. SLPs also play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (often in a team with pediatricians and psychologists).
- TYPES OF SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DELAY
These 10 causes of childhood speech and language problems provide a good starting point to understanding why speech limitations occur.
General Speech-Language Delay – This is probably the most common and easily remedied problem. The reason this occurs is that the child is learning more slowly than his or her peers. It’s a temporary situation that can be addressed with a combination of therapy as well as at home carryover. After therapy is initiated, many children develop their speech-language skills appropriately and catch up to peers within a relatively short period of time.
Expressive Language Problems – With this type of delay, a child thinks and understands clearly and develops normal relationships, but he or she has problems effectively utilizing expressive language versus basic talking. Speech is delayed because the child is struggling with how to communicate effectively. Again, speech therapy is the appropriate response.
Receptive Language Problems – With this condition, the child comprehension is decreased and s/he speaks with an unclear and sparse use of words and has a problem connecting words with directions, such as pointing at an object or carryout instructions. Speech therapy will be needed, but often these cases need intensive clinical help and treatment may take much longer periods of time.
Autism – Children with a variety of disorders along the autism spectrum display a number of developmental problems, including speech delay and the inability to communicate clearly. Repetitive activity is also common. The child has profound difficulty sustaining long-term communication, and even with therapy, regression often occurs after slight improvements. In these cases professional evaluation and treatment are needed for accurate diagnosis. The treatment, intensive language training and behavioral modification, continues into later years.
Cerebral Palsy – This condition causes significant problems with physical vocal coordination. The child may have serious problems controlling spasms in the tongue area. He or she also often suffers from hearing limitations and disconnects between stimuli and cognitive function. Children affected by this condition often undergo intensive symbol recognition therapy as a communication alternative to vocal speech along with speech therapy. While speech may continue to evidence developmental delays, such children find ways to communicate effectively despite the condition.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech – This issue interferes with a child’s ability to make the right sounds for desired words. As a result, his or her speech tends to be very impaired and may be difficult for listeners to understand. Children affected often add gesturing to compensate. Multiple treatment approaches are applied to this condition, with comprehensive assessment being a prerequisite to effective treatment.
Dysarthia – This condition, in either a mild or severe form, affects speech accordingly. A child’s speech may be disrupted and difficult to understand. Similar to apraxia, children tend to overcompensate with physical gestures to get their point across. Speech-language therapy results in some improvement, with multiple approaches needed to address this problem effectively.
Hearing loss post-speech – In some cases, children learn to speak but then lose their hearing, which may cause speech regression. Eventually speech clarity and quality drop as the hearing loss continues. Further, affected children stop adding new words to their vocabulary. With the help of professionals (audiologist, speech language pathologist) to learn sign language, read lips, and use hearing aids, most speech problems are overcome. Speech enunciation may continue to be hampered somewhat, however.
- voice therapy
- Stuttering, Child language disorder)
- Autism/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder)
- TYPES OF SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DELAY