What is speech therapy?
- A speech-language pathologist works to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.
How much schooling does a speech pathologist need?
- 6 years, at a minimum. Speech pathologists need a Masters (and bachelors) in Speech Pathology in order to practice.
Where can speech pathologists work?
- Rehabilitation Centers
- Private Clinics
- In-home therapy settings
- Professors (colleges)
What do SLPs treat in schools?
- Expressive language (difficulties conveying thoughts and ideas in a clear and concise manner, including age‐appropriate grammar and vocabulary)
- Receptive language (difficulties processing and understanding oral and written information)
- Articulation (specific speech sound errors in words, sentences, and conversation)
- Phonological processes (patterns of speech sound errors)
- Social language (“pragmatics”; deficits in using social language appropriately in various situations, including humor, inferencing, and conversational speech)
- Memory/Word finding (having trouble thinking of words, difficulty following directions)
When does a child qualify for speech services at school versus a private clinic?
- Students qualify for school-based speech services when their delay or deficit impacts their academic performance in some capacity.
- For example, a phonological disorder that prevents a child from communicating with peers in groups, a language delay that impacts a child’s reading and comprehension skills, or a fluency disorder that impacts a student’s self-confidence for public speaking tasks.
- When a student demonstrates a speech and language disorder that is either very mild or has little to no impact on their academic progress, a student would be best and most ethically served by a SLP outside of school.
- While a school-based SLP can make tremendous progress with speech/language skills during the school day, there are other factors to consider for a student or parent wishing to obtain speech services at school:
- some students are embarrassed or uncomfortable being treated by a SLP at school in front of peers
- some students have global delays in other areas and are pulled by multiple therapists/teachers each day and missing an extensive amount of class time
- some students are offered services but exhibit little to no motivation to improve speech/language skills at this time
- some students may benefit from concurrent speech services with a private SLP and school SLP to make the most progress