Speech therapy is an intervention service that focuses on improving a child's speech and abilities to understand and express language, including nonverbal language. Speech therapists, or speech and language pathologists (SLPs), are the professionals who provide these services. Speech therapy includes two components: 1) coordinating the mouth to produce sounds to form words and sentences (to address articulation, fluency, and voice volume regulation); and 2) understanding and expressing language, In addition, the role of SLPs in treating swallowing disorders has broadened to include all aspects of feeding.
An SLP may identify a language-based learning disability in students who struggle to read and express themselves in written work. To provide direct treatment, SLPs perform evaluations and consult with teachers to create language-rich classrooms. Therapy may be individual or include a small group of peers who face similar social and communication challenges. In either situation, the goal is to make the language fun, develop friendships, and enable students to succeed in school.
Speech and language pathologists not only assess and treat for articulation, language and cognitive difficulties, but some also focus on swallowing and feeding