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Frequentry Asked Questions (FAQs)

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What is Speech & Language

Speech refers to:

  • how the sounds in spoken words are pronounced
  • how easily others understand the words spoken
  • how easily or fluently the person talks
  • whether the rate and timing sound like adult speech and includes the quality of the voice used in speaking.
  • Is it too loud or soft, low or high, or does it sound like they are talking through their nose.

Language refers to:

  • vocabulary used and understood
  • sentence length and complexity
  • word and sentence structures that can be understood and used
  • knowledge of concepts e.g. hot, bottom, alike
  • ability to understand and follow age-level directions
  • ability to answer age-appropriate questions
  • the sequential accuracy of what is said, social relevance, and situational appropriateness or pragmatic content of the remarks
  • the non-verbal cues used such as gaze, gestures and body language

How do I know if my child needs speech/language therapy? Questions to ask yourself...

    • Does your child have difficulty pronouncing words?
    • Does your child have limited number of words or vocabulary as compared to other children of his/her age?
    • Does your child have difficulty making complete sentences and/or formulating words/thoughts?
    • Does your child have difficulty understanding others?
    • Does your child have difficulty being understood by people other than you?
    • Is your child embarrassed to talk around others in class?
    • Has your child stopped participating in activities due to his/her speech and/or language problem?

If you are concerned about your child's speech/language development you should contact your pediatrician and request a referral for a speech and language evaluation. Remember that every child is different and that speech/language develops at varying rates even amongst siblings. The therapist will determine the need for therapy based on a comprehensive evaluation.

How long will it take to get my child into your Center for the speech evaluation?
We are usually able to schedule your child within 4 weeks.  On occasion we will have cancellations and will attempt to fill those slots.

What happens during the evaluation?
The evaluation usually takes 1-2 hours. Standardized tests and procedures utilized during testing are determined by your child's age and ability level.

The Speech/Language Pathologist may assess the following areas, as needed:

  • Pertinent history prior to the evaluation – based on questionnaire and interview
  • Receptive Language – what your child understands
  • Expressive Language – what your child says
  • Social Skills – how your child plays and interacts with others
  • Articulation – how your child says speech sounds
  • Oral Motor Skills – how your child's jaw, lips, tongue and teeth work in coordinated movements for speech
  • Voice – pitch and volume
  • Fluency – rate and flow of speech
  • Hearing Screening – attempted for all children

What is Speech/language therapy?

Speech language therapy is the treatment of speech/language disorders in order to improve overall functional communication. Speech language therapy includes prevention, identification, evaluation, treatment, education, and continuous carryover of exercises into the home environment.

How are speech and language disorders treated?
There are a variety of ways to treat each patient. Each therapist develops an individualized treatment plan based on the individual's evaluation to effectively and efficiently treat each individual's need/s. We develop goals to target the problem and track the progress towards those goals. We continuously provide information and education to the parents while we provide therapy. In addition, we provide families with activities for carry-over of the skills learned during speech language therapy.

What can I do to help my child if he/she presents with a language delay?
Make language part of everyday experiences in a fun and natural way. Set time aside daily to play with your child, talk about what you and he/she are doing, and try to read to him/her daily. If possible find opportunities for him/her to socialize with other children. Avoid comparisons between your child's speech and other children's.

If my child has a speech delay will he/she have learning difficulties?
There is no way of knowing for sure when a child is very young if he/she will have learning difficulties later one. Depending on the type of language issues the child has and his/her age, there is frequently a correlation between expressive and receptive language difficulties and later difficulties in school with reading, writing, comprehending classroom content material, focus and attention. However, each case is individual and generalizations are not necessarily useful.

What is the difference between a speech/language pathologist, a speech therapist, speech teacher?
A speech language pathologist is a licensed professional with the following minimum qualification: 1) possesses a master's degree in communicative disorders with a concentration in speech-language pathology; 2) has passed a national exam in speech-language pathology; and 3) has completed a 9 month clinical fellowship year under a qualified supervisor and possesses the Certificate of Clinical Competence. The other titles are sometimes used interchangeably with speech-language pathologist but do not necessarily mean that the individual has the same qualifications.

Will my insurance pay for a Speech-Language Evaluation or Therapy?
It is dependent on the reason for the evaluation or therapy.  Each insurance company is slightly different but generally if the reason for the therapy or evaluation is developmental or educational in nature, it does not pay for the service.  However, it is important that you check with your insurance company since each company and/or policy is different.