Pediatric speech-language therapy is based on the principle of habilitation rather than rehabilitation. Habilitative services focus on helping a person, usually a child, learn, gain or acquire certain skills, where rehabilitation focuses on regaining lost skills as a result of trauma (stroke/head injury). Speech therapy may be warranted when a child is not acquiring skills in a typical time frame or typical manner.
Areas of speech-language acquisition generally include:
- Speech Sound Production or Articulation.
- Receptive and Expressive language skills (including vocabulary development and grammar acquisition).
- Auditory Processing – the ability to decipher meaning from what is heard.
- Oral-Motor skills – strength and coordination of the muscles used for speech production.
- Speech Praxis – motor planning of the muscles used for speech, lack of which is generally known as Apraxia of Speech.
- Social-Pragmatic Skills
- Feeding Skills
Refer to standards for communication milestones to give you an idea of where your child is and should be on the skill continuum. Follow this link What is Speech? What is Language? for more information.
The following disorders are associated with lack of or absence of skill acquisition in the following areas:
If you suspect your child might have a speech-language or feeding disorder seek an initial consultation. Speech-language therapy is indicated following a diagnostic assessment. Frequency and duration of treatment is determined by the severity of the disorder, based upon diagnostic findings. Please use the contact sheet to request an initial consultation.