What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?
A speech-language pathologist is responsible for the diagnosis, prognosis, prescription, and remediation of speech, language, and swallowing disorders. A speech-language pathologist evaluates and treats children and adults who have difficulty speaking, listening, reading, writing, or swallowing. The overall objective of speech-language pathology services is to optimize individuals’ ability to communicate and swallow, thereby improving quality of life.
–American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
A speech-language pathologist can assess and treat delays and disorders in fluency, voice, speech sound development (articulation) and language, which may include a difficulty with understanding and/or using spoken, written, and/or other symbol systems such as gestures or sign language.
A speech-language pathologist can also asses and treat disturbances of feeding and swallowing which may include oral motor disorders, feeding difficulties secondary to disorders of tone and strength, structural deficiencies, or any underlying condition that may have placed a child at increased risk for airway obstruction and aspiration of food and liquid material into the airway. Many children who have experienced negative associations surrounding food, such as children with reflux, food allergies, or gastrointestinal discomfort often have accompanying oral motor feeding difficulties and sensory processing difficulties, making eating a very stressful experience instead of an enjoyable one. In the same sense, children with Autism or children who have difficulty processing sensory information may have a plethora of feeding challenges as a result of a negative response to food textures, difficulty transitioning to a new or unfamiliar food, and increased anxiety and aversion surrounding oral stimulation, food and mealtime.
Speech, Language and Feeding Evaluation and Treatment:
We provide evaluation and treatment of disorders or delays in articulation and language development and evaluation and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing disturbances.