Speech Pathology Services
Speech Pathology involves the assessment, diagnosis, management and treatment of communication disorders, including difficulties in the areas of speech, using and understanding language, social skills, literacy, fluency and voice.
This refers to the understanding of language and the ability to follow directions. A child who has difficulties in this area may have difficulties with:
- following instructions and directions
- understanding the meaning of words and sentences
- understanding what is said to them
- understanding questions
- paying attention at kindergarten or school
This refers to language production and includes the ability to construct sentences and tell stories. A child who has difficulties in this area may have difficulties with:
- retelling a story
- using grammar correctly
- using a broad vocabulary
- naming items and objects
- writing paragraphs and stories
- finding the right word to use
This refers to the awareness of sounds and is an important skill in learning to read and spell. A child who has difficulties in this area may have difficulties with:
- spelling and writing
- understanding what they are reading
- decoding unfamiliar words
- counting out syllables in words
Articulation (speech sound production)
Listed below is general guideline as to when speech sounds are acquired.
- Age 3 – 75% of children have mastered the sounds – p, b, m, n, ng, w, k, g, f, h, d, y and t
- Age 4 – 75% of children have mastered the sounds – l, sh, ch, j, s and z
- Age 5 – 75% of children have mastered the sound – r
- Age 6 – 8.5 – 75% of children have mastered the sounds – v and th
(adapted from Bowen.C.(2011). Table 4: Phonetic Development. www.speech-language-therapy.com)
This refers to interruptions to the smooth flow of speech. Children go through a period of dysfluent speech as they are learning to talk and is considered to be a normal part of language development. Dysfluent speech usually peaks at the ages of 2.5 to 4 years of age. As children master language, they become more fluent.
Stuttering is not a normal part of a child’s speech and language development. Some stuttering characteristics are:
- repeating parts of words, for example, “da daddy”
- repeating whole words, for example, “the the the”
- repeating phrases, for example, “i want, i want”
- prolonging sounds, for example, “ssssssssnake”
- blocking – getting stuck on a word without any sounds coming out
- using words such as “um”, “well” that are unrelated to the sentence
Some children may also show behaviours such as jaw tremors, head movements and excessive eye blinking.
How can a Speech Pathologist help?
A Speech Pathologist can provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your child’s speech and/or language skills.
A Speech Pathologist can provide strategies and recommendations to you, your child’s kindergarten or school.