A pediatric speech language pathologist is a person highly trained in the many aspects of communication: pre-communication skills, auditory comprehension, expressive language, oral motor development and feeding, articulation development, fluency, social language skills, and auditory processing, to name a few. If you suspect your child is experiencing difficulty in any of these areas, a speech language evaluation will identify your child’s specific strengths and weaknesses in these areas. A speech therapist will use information provided by standardized tests along with information provided by you (the parent), school/preschool, and your physician to help you decided if speech language therapy services are appropriate for your child. Although a speech language pathologist treats a wide variety of children with different diagnoses, specific speech diagnoses include:

– Apraxia of speech
– Speech delay
– Hearing impairment
– Feeding disorders
– Stuttering
– Language delay (receptive/expressive)
– Articulation impairment
– Auditory processing disorder
– Cranio/facial anomalies

A speech language pathologist can also help you determine when verbal language alone is note enough for your child to effectively communicate with you and other in his/her environment. Sign language or picture communication may be introduced to help your child communicate and increase his/her language skills. Sign language and picture communication should not be viewed as a total replacement to verbal language development, but as a tool to increase their overall communicative interactions. If your child requires additional augmentative and alternative communication devices, your speech language pathologist will be able to discuss options and begin therapy focused on the use of your child’s specific device. For additional information regarding augmentative and alternative devices, please click here.