pediatric speech-language pathologists work to help children communicate effectively by assisting with the improvement of their verbal and non-verbal language skills. But they also help with things like feeding and swallowing abilities.
Seriously, how often do you actually think about how you chew? It takes a lot of muscles in your mouth! And pediatric speech-language pathologists work with children of all ages, from newborns to teenagers, to help with all of these skills.
In addition to specializing in treating feeding and swallowing disorders, speech-language pathologists focus on improving three areas of communication – speech, receptive language, and expressive language.
- Receptive Language: When therapists work with children to improve their receptive language, they are helping children process and understand the information they’re receiving from others.
- Expressive Language: When therapists work with children on expressive language, they are helping children learn how to produce words and combine words into phrases and sentences to outwardly communicate their wants and needs and share information.
- Unclear speech and articulation problems
- Stammering and stuttering
- Verbal expressive language
- Nonverbal Communication
Speech-language pathologists give parents and children the tools they need to improve their language skills, but therapists say it’s the time spent using those tools at home and in the children’s natural environment that really creates lasting change. Practicing what is learned at the therapy appointments is just as important as the appointments themselves. Parents should ask therapists what goals and strategies can be carried over into the home environment to improve speech and language skills.