Speech-language pathologists are interested in how your child communicates thoughts and needs (Expressive Language), understands and processes information (receptive language) and how clearly your child speaks (articulation).
When looking at expressive language, your speech-language pathologist will learn how your child communicates with family, teachers and friends. Communication may be non-verbal and/or verbal and includes communication such as eye gaze, gestures, signs, single words or entire phrases and sentence. The SLP is also interested in knowing the type of vocabulary your child uses and how your child follows the rules of grammar. Finally, the SLP will want to see how your child uses language in social situations (referred to as pragmatics).
Receptive language, looks to see how your child understands and processes information, comprehends vocabulary, follows directions and understands questions.
Articulation looks at how clearly your child produces words and sentences. The SLP will identify any specific sound errors your child uses and determine if there is any pattern to those errors.
Also speech therapy looks at your child’s speech rate, the smoothness of speech (referred to as fluency or stuttering) and how loud or soft your child speaks (intensity) are right for your child’s age. Other areas a speech language pathologist will assess are your child’s hearing, oral motor skills and the need for augmentative communication. A speech-language pathologist along with occupational therapist can also assess feeding and swallowing concerns.