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Speech Therapist: A Different Kind of Hero

Nov 4, 2023

Language is all around us. It’s everywhere! It’s hiding in our computers, homes, and classrooms in so many forms. While kids benefit from constant communication exposure, sometimes problems with language arise at a young age. If this happens, a speech therapist can swoop in to save the day!

What is a Speech Therapist?

If you see a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), you can rest assured that it is just a different term for a speech therapist. They are trained professionals with the minimum of a master’s degree and work in various settings like in schools and pediatric therapy clinics. An SLP is prepared to help kiddos with language difficulties by sharpening their communication skills. Many people know that a speech therapist assists with verbal difficulties, but since there are many components to language, the speech therapist can also aid in other areas like reading, hearing sounds, feeding/swallowing, and socially appropriate communication. Who knew that our mouths yield so much influence over what we do?

How do you know if a child needs speech therapy?

Facing challenges in language can be a frustrating barrier for children since our lives are so rich with communication practices. Speech Therapists are here to help improve the way that your child communicates and interacts with language. Certain medical conditions may warrant the aid of a Speech Therapist such as cleft lip/palate, autism, or a hearing disability, but many other reasons exist as to why a child may need help with language.

Children may see a speech therapist due to these general challenges with communication:

  1. Articulation – Difficulty speaking sounds and words such as saying “won” instead of “run”
  2. Fluency – Difficulty with the flow of sounds or words such as stuttering
  3. Voice – Difficulty with volume, pitch, or tone such as mumbling
  4. Reading – Difficulty understanding language when reading such as with dyslexia
  5. Pragmatics – Difficulty with using appropriate language in social settings such as going off topic

Although any difficulty with language can be distressing, the speech therapist will assist with their heroic skills. As we know, language connects us to our world, which is why this occupation carries so much weight. With a speech therapist, a parent can see improvements academically, socially, and even emotionally.

How quickly does speech therapy work?

The superhero power of a speech therapist is simple: practice, practice, and more practice! Kids learn language each day with practice and exposure, but the speech therapist will take it a step further by zeroing in on tasks that will truly help reduce or alleviate the language difficulty.

Keep in mind that language is a skill learned over time, and in some cases, a difficulty may never fully go away. Therapy can be needed for a few days or up to several years depending on the situation. Progress becomes the focus opposed to “curing” the communicative issue. Besides, we all communicate a little differently. To know for sure if your kiddo should see a speech therapist, an evaluation will need to be completed first.

Ready to schedule an evaluation? Contact our Speech Therapy team.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated to reflect the most up-to-date information for parents and caregivers.