Speech-Language Therapy treats communication difficulties that are present either by birth or acquired later in life. A Speech-Language Pathologist diagnoses and provides treatment for speech disorders (speech sound disorder, motor speech disorder, fluency and voice disorder), language disorders (specific language impairment, receptive/expressive language disorder, social communication disorder and dyslexia) and swallowing disorders.
When to consult an SLP:
- When a child is not saying any words or understanding simple commands by the age of one year.
- The child is not combining two-word phrases, e.g. “more chips”, doesn’t have a vocabulary of 200-300 words and is not saying at least 50-100 words by age of two years.
- The child used to talk but doesn’t anymore.
- The adult/child can’t speak in a fluent manner, stutters, repeat words/sounds, gets stuck on words or prolongs sounds in words (I I I I want to eat/ I ……want to eeeeat).
- Replaces one sound with another sound in words (cat is pronounced as tat).
- Voice is very harsh/hoarse, 'girlish' in boys/men, robotic or nasal.
- Sudden illness or brain injury that has caused weakness/poor coordination of muscles of oral cavity or loss of previously learned language.
- Difficulty in chewing and swallowing food properly.
Who should see an SLP:
- Children with autism spectrum disorder, hearing impairment, cleft palate, articulation disorder, downs syndrome, intellectual disabilities, specific language impairment, social communication difficulties, dyslexia and late talkers.
- Adults after stroke, a traumatic brain injury or cognitive communication disorders related to old age.