When you hear “speech therapist”, what comes to mind? If you’re like many people, you associate speech therapists with things like stuttering or helping a child with a lisp. But over the past few decades, a speech-language pathologist’s role has expanded significantly. Last week, we talked about just a few of the ways a speech-language pathologist can make a difference that you might not be aware of. Today, we’ll discuss two more ways that a speech-language pathologist can help you or your loved ones:
Academic Success: Communication and education go hand in hand. A speech-language pathologist doesn’t only help a child improve their speech or language skills. They also work closely with the child, family and the child’s teacher to make sure they’re not at a disadvantage in the classroom. This can happen on several levels. The speech therapist will determine what the academic demands are at a child’s grade level, and how their communication disorder might impact success. The speech pathologist will also work directly with the child to develop compensation strategies using that child’s particular strengths and weaknesses. Finally, the speech therapist can communicate with the child’s teacher to help them understand how the child’s communication challenges might impact their classroom performance, and share strategies to help the child succeed.
Feeding and Swallowing: Since it’s not directly in the job title, people often don’t realize that speech-language pathologists also help with feeding and swallowing problems! There are a range of reasons a child might have feeding or swallowing issues: problems with the muscles needed for chewing and swallowing, sensory issues that make certain textures or flavors intolerable, structural problems with the digestive tract. Regardless of the cause, a speech-language pathologist can be a valuable member of the team in making sure a child with feeding or swallowing disorders gets the nutrition they need. Following an evaluation, the speech therapist can make recommendations for diet changes and special equipment, and provide sensory training, behavioral therapy, and compensatory strategies to make eating safe and enjoyable.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give us a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.
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