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What is Pediatric Speech Therapy?


Pediatric speech therapists work with children who have difficulties with communication. The ultimate goal of speech therapy is to empower children to communicate functionally and effectively in various contexts, enabling them to participate fully in social, academic, and everyday activities. Speech therapists work closely with parents and caregivers to provide support and guidance for practicing skills outside of sessions. 


Children may benefit from pediatric speech therapy for:

  • Articulation skills – enhancing overall speech clarity to improve their ability to be understood by others

  • Expressive and receptive language skills – building vocabulary, understanding language concepts, and using language effectively to express thoughts, feelings, and needs

  • Social communication skills – learning how to engage in conversations, understand social cues, taking turns, and interacting with others effectively

  • Fluency issues – helping children who stutter or have other fluency disorders speak more smoothly and/or confidently 

  • Alternative communication needs – learning how to use alternative communication methods if needed such as sign language or augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to give children access to their most effective communication modality

  • Voice difficulties – helping children achieve optimal vocal function, comfort, and confidence in their communication and vocal expression

  • Feeding difficulties – ensuring safe and efficient feeding and swallowing via development of appropriate oral motor skills and coordination to eat and drink safely and comfortably


How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?

  • They are not meeting typical speech milestones for their age such as not saying single words by 12-15 months or not using two-word phrases by 24 months

  • Others have difficulty understanding your child’s speech or your child consistently mispronounces sounds or words

  • They have trouble understanding spoken language or following directions appropriate for their age

  • They seem to have a smaller vocabulary than peers of the same age or struggle to learn and use new words

  • They frequently repeat sounds or words, prolong sounds, or exhibit other fluency difficulties

  • They have trouble engaging in conversation, understanding social cues, or participating in social interactions with peers

  • They have trouble eating, drinking, or swallowing safely and effectively, leading to nutritional or developmental concerns

  • Their voice sounds consistently hoarse, rough, breathy, or strained



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