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What is Speech Therapy and How Can It Help?

by Stephanie Barry, M.S., CCC-SLP of Independent Speech, LLC.
Although more than 5 million children in the United States have a speech, language, and/or hearing disorder, parents are often uninformed and/or unsure about what to do when they have concerns about their child's communication skills. It is important to address any concerns as soon possible. Speech, language and/or hearing delays or disorders can affect a child's ability to learn, socialize with others, and be successful in school.

Speech and language problems can occur at any time in a child's life. They can be caused by accidental injury, illness, or inherited by birth. Child speech and language problems include:

  • Stuttering
  • Articulation problems ("wabbit" instead of "rabbit")
  • Language disorders such as the slow development of vocabulary, concepts, and grammar.
  • Voice disorders (nasal, breathy, or horse voice and speech that is too high or low)

Parents who suspect their child has a communication disorder should see an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist. These professionals identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems. The initial evaluation can provide a wealth of information about your child's current level of functioning in a variety of speech-language areas and determine if they would benefit from speech therapy. Even if they do not require speech therapy, you will learn some valuable information about our child's communication skills that can help alleviate you concerns.

"Fortunately, most children with speech, language, and hearing problems can be helped," according to Catherine Gottfred, PhD, speech-language pathologist and ASHA President. "Even if the problem cannot be eliminated, we can teach the child strategies to help them cope with their communication disorders, or provide them with the appropriate technology. By promoting Better Hearing and Speech Month, we hope parents will learn about communication disorders, what they can do to help their children, and how speech-language pathologists and audiologists can help with their child's communication disorders."

Parents who think their children may have a speech, language, or hearing disorder or know of a loved one who has a communication disorder should make an appointment with an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist.

If you have questions about your child's communication skills or if you would like to learn more about online speech-language services provided by an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist please visit our website at or call to speak directly to our of our speech pathologists at 1-877-480-7913. Body Content

Stephanie Barry, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist and Educational Consultant
Tel: 602-793-2958

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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