Parents sometimes ask themselves, “Is my child progressing normally with speech” or “does my child have a communication disorder”? Children advance with communication at different rates, with some starting slowly and others seemingly developing spoken language overnight. It can be hard to know if a child needs assistance. Over time, a body of research has developed which establishes developmental standards; and these standards reveal a wide range of normal within different age categories. How can a family determine if their child is developing appropriately?
A speech-language pathologist is the best specialist for questions regarding speech and communication development. Speech–language pathologists (also referred to as SLPs) are licensed healthcare providers with the greatest knowledge, expertise, and experience in the area of speech and language development.
A speech-language pathologist must have a Masters degree from an accredited university. Coursework is completed covering principles of acoustics, physiology, neurology, cognition, and anatomy – as these subjects relate to the ability to speak, understand and formulate language, hear/listen, and eat/swallow. Additional studies focus on speech and language development as well as specific disorders. Evaluation, diagnosis and treatment are all a part of the licensed SLP’s scope of practice. Speech & Occupational Therapy of North Texas, a pediatric therapy practice, has highly qualified and experienced pediatric speech pathologists, eager to help your child meet their potential. We love helping children and supporting families!
As a result of the knowledge base and applied experience with infants, toddlers and older children, a pediatric speech-language pathologist will be adept at evaluation and treatment of a broad range of communication and feeding/swallowing disorders often found in these age groups.
An SLP should also be a good communicator; assisting families and other professionals to help each child make the greatest progress in the quickest amount of time. Equally important with good training and experience; character qualities of compassion, empathy, patience and supportiveness are critical. Families who have children with speech, language, developmental or feeding/swallowing disorders struggle with many concerns for their child’s current ability to function successfully and also for their child’s future. At Speech & Occupational Therapy of North Texas, our speech-language pathologists become an important part of the “inner circle”, providing training, support, a listening ear, and genuine caring for each child and family they serve.
Communication development is complex. A break down may occur at a particular place along a continuum, or within a particular domain such as speech production, expressive-receptive language, hearing or auditory processing, or feeding and swallowing. Unfortunately, speech and language disorders do not typically disappear without intervention and language ability correlates with academic performance and success in life.
If you are having questions about your child’s speech and language development, it is important to talk with your pediatrician. Also consider having a pediatric speech-language pathologist evaluate your child to rule out or identify any speech or language disorders that could hinder your child’s development. Once you have a detailed assessment report that clearly outlines how your child is progressing with speech and language development, or feeding development, you can make an informed decision about the next step. If your child does have a disorder, you will have a detailed treatment plan based specifically on your child’s needs
Speech & Occupational Therapy of North Texas offers speech therapy and occupational therapy at three Collin County locations. For families in McKinney, Plano, and Frisco, speech therapy and occupational therapy is available near your neighborhood.
We are network providers for many major insurance plans. If you have questions about your child’s development, or would like to find out more about our therapy services or insurance coverage, contact us at 972-424-0148