What is Speech-Language Pathology?
A speech-language pathologist (SLP) is a highly-trained professional who evaluates and treats those who have difficulty with speech or language skills. Although people often think of speech and language as the same thing, the terms are used to specify very different treatments. If your child has trouble with speech, they struggle with the “how-to” of talking—the coordination of the muscles and movements necessary to produce speech. This may impact their ability to use correct speech sounds when they talk. Sometimes this makes children's speech difficult to understand when they speak in conversation. If your child has trouble with language, they struggle with understanding what they hear or see. Your child may struggle to find the right words and/or organize those words in a meaningful way to communicate a message or hold a conversation. Language may also impact reading, writing, and spelling as they enter school. The following list differentiates the difference between speech and language:
- Articulation - the way we say our speech sounds
- Phonology - the speech patterns we use
- Apraxia - difficulty planning and coordinating the movements needed to make speech sounds
- Fluency - stuttering
- Voice - problems with the way the voice sounds, such as hoarseness
- Receptive Language - difficulty understanding language
- Expressive Language - difficulty using language
- Pragmatic Language - social communication; the way we speak to each other
- Literacy- the ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential.