Marshall Clinical Expert | April 25, 2024 | Speech Therapy

What is Speech Therapy?

So you may be wondering...what exactly is Pediatric Speech-Language Therapy?

Speech-Language Therapy is described as a treatment that helps to support and care for children who have difficulties with communication, feeding, eating, drinking, and swallowing. Our expert clinicians at Marshall Pediatric Therapy want to help answer some of the most FAQs when it comes to this discipline.

What specific conditions does Speech-Language Therapy help to support?

  • Apraxia of Speech: a speech-sound disorder in which a child has difficulty saying what he/she wants to say correctly and consistently. A neurological disorder that affects the pathways in which a brain plans out the movements involved with producing speech

  • Dyslexia of Speech: a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills that are involved in the accuracy and fluency of reading and writing.

  • Dysphagia: difficulty swallowing meaning it takes more time and effort for food and or liquids to move from the mouth to the stomach.

  • Aphasia: a speech-sound disorder that affects how one communicates. Aphasia not only impacts your speech, but it also impacts the way you write and understand verbal/non-verbal communication. This is caused by damage in a specific area of the brain.

  • Dysarthria: is described as a disorder that is caused by muscle weakness, making it very difficult to talk. Therefore, people might not understand what one is saying. Common causes of Dysarthria are disorders within the nervous system that might cause paralysis of the face or weakened muscles of the tongue and or throat.

  • Expressive Disorders: a developmental disorder that is categorized as a condition in which a child has a lower than normal ability in vocabulary, saying complex sentences, and being able to remember certain words. A child might use vague terms, speak quietly, or have a tendency of leaving keywords out.

  • Fluency Disorders: fluency in speech refers to the smoothness, effort, and rate of speech production.

    fluency disorders are defined as interruptions in the "flow" of speaking. A lot of times, you may recognize this as a "stutter". People with fluency disorders also frequently experience psychological, emotional, social, and functional impacts as a result of their communication disorder

  • Receptive Disorders

  • Articulation Disorders

  • Chronic ear infection/ear tubes

  • Cognitive-Communication disorders

  • Lactation concerns

  • Autism

  • Tongue or lip tie (Ankyloglossia)

  • Cleft lip or cleft palate

Examples of when you might need to express your concerns:

  • Picky and problem eaters

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Difficulty learning sounds for letters in Pre-school and Kindergarten

  • Stuttering for 3+ months

  • Not combining words by age 2

  • The child seems to have selective hearing

  • Has difficulty following directions or problem-solving

  • Does not respond to his/her name by 1yo

  • Diagnosed with hearing loss at any age

  • The child has weak oral muscles

  • Motor planning problems

  • Problems with articulation

Speech Therapy techniques for children:

  • Reducing child’s use of screen time

  • Reading out loud to your child, allowing them to read out loud to you

  • Be the best model of speech by being grammatically correct

  • Play games and activities with your child like word games and puzzles

  • Encourage creativity and problem-solving

  • Encourage smiling and puckering their lips

What age should a child receive Speech Therapy?

Realistically, there is no specific age a child should receive any particular therapy discipline. it is never too early to start therapy and get an evaluation with a licensed professional as soon as you notice and or experience concerns. It is not abnormal for a child with a disability to show signs of developmental delays as early as 3 months old, if not sooner.

We always advocate for our families to ask plenty of questions to their pediatrician, after all, that’s why they are there for! At Marshall, we see newborn babies, all the way to age twenty-one with a wide array of conditions and concerns. Early intervention is so very important!

Is Speech Therapy covered by Insurance?

If you and your child receive a referral to receive Speech-Language Therapy, we highly suggest that you contact us first to see if you’re in the network for insurance to help offset the cost of therapy visits. Our helpful referral team and clinical support can guide you through all of your financial options and answer absolutely any questions you might have regarding billing/insurance.

At Marshall, we do our very best to always advocate for our families and to help break down the financial barriers that might keep someone from receiving the services they not only need but that they deserve.

For a list of our current insurance providers that cover Speech Therapy visits, you can click here.

How we address Speech-Language Therapy at Marshall Pediatric Therapy:

  • Child Directed, Play-Based Therapy

  • Addressing Social Skills

  • Device Selection & Programming

  • Augmentative Communication Evaluations

  • Picture Exchange Communication Systems

  • Barton Reading Program: a really structured literacy program that supports reading, spelling, and writing for conditions such as Dyslexia and other learning disabilities

  • Lively Letters: a research-based and clinically-proven multi-sensory reading program that turns plain simple letters into lively characters

  • Pediatric feeding

  • Lactation consulting and support

  • Pediatric meal planning support

Who treats Speeh-Language Therapy?

An SLP or Speech-Language Pathologist helps to effectively treat conditions associated with Speech-Language concerns.

An SLP must have:

  • At least a Master’s Degree from an approved University or Academic Institution

  • State certification/licensure in the field

  • A Certificate of Clinical Competency (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

  • CPR and First Aid Certified

Reference our Development Milestone Chart here (6mos - 5 years) here.

Check out our FREE Developmental Screening Tool here.

Learn more about Speech Therapy at Marshall Pediatric Therapy here.

See more helpful resources for Speech-Language Therapy here.

Interested in an initial Speech-Language Therapy Evaluation? Request an appointment here.

Interested in a career in Speech-Langugage Therapy? Learn all about career opportunities at Marshall here.

See all of our office locations here to find the location nearest to you! We also offer sessions through Telehealth. Contact a Referral Specialist to learn more!