Speech pathologists are trained to diagnose and treat a broad range of communication difficulties.
There are many areas of communication that Speech Pathologists support including:
Receptive Language which refers to how your child understands directions, learns new concepts and responds to questions. This may also be referred to as auditory processing. Difficulties with receptive language may be linked with poor attention and listening skills.
Expressive Language which refers to how your child builds sentences, tells stories and engages in conversation using appropriate grammar and specific vocabulary.
Speech Sounds refers to how your child develops and makes the sounds within words using their tongue and lips (oral motor skills). Difficulties with speech sounds can affect your child’s intelligibility (how easy/hard their speech is to understand). Stuttering refers to the fluency of your child’s speech which may be disrupted by repetitions (e.g. b-b-bus) and lengthening of sounds. This may also be referred to as a stammer.
Voice refers to the quality of your child’s voice. You might be concerned if your child’s voice is too loud, swift, croaky or husky.
Social skills refers to how we apply our language skills in different situations and may include eye contact, turn taking, interpreting body language, humour and inference based on the context. This may also be referred to as pragmatics.
Literacy refers to the development of reading and writing skills. Literacy development is strongly linked with language skills (understanding what you are reading and writing) and phonological awareness (awareness of sounds within words).
Children who have difficulties with hearing (aided as a result of permanent loss or fluctuating hearing loss associated with middle ear pathology which may be treated with grommets) will often experience difficulty with speech and language.
Children may experience difficulties in one area or a combination of areas.
Children may experience early delays but with some additional support may catch up to the peers. Some children may experience ongoing difficulties. Children may have difficulties with communication associated with developmental delays or learning disabilities.