May is Better Speech and Hearing Month! Let’s take a moment to celebrate the great work that SLPs do in our community.
What do speech-language pathologists do?
Speech-language pathologists do a lot more than most people realize. We work with people of every age, from newborn babies to the elderly. Our scope of practice includes speech (pronouncing sounds), language (using grammatical constructions and expanding utterances), fluency (stuttering and cluttering), voice (e.g., hoarseness, breaks in sound, even laryngeal cancer recovery), resonance (e.g., nasality), motor speech (e.g., dysarthria, apraxia), social skills (e.g., using language to develop and maintain relationships), augmentative and alternative communication (e.g., using an iPad app or a communication board to communicate) drooling (check out Sydney’s great post from February), and swallowing.
Why is pediatric speech-language therapy important?
Most people think that children finish learning language when they are young, but language actually continues to develop through high school and even into college! When we see pediatric clients, we set goals designed to support their personal, educational, and social development. We want every child to be able to express their wants and needs, access their curriculum, and develop meaningful, reciprocal relationships in their home, school, and play environments. We love to come alongside children and young adults to help them maximize their communicative potential as they continue to develop.
(Very) brief timeline of speech-language pathology:
1882: The first American book on speech disorders was written by Samuel Potter
1925: The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is founded (originally called the American Academy of Speech Correction)
1970s: SLPs first start applying our expertise in oropharyngeal structures to swallowing therapy
2000s: SLPs begin to leverage new technologies in therapy, especially in augmentative and alternative communication therapy and long-distance therapy through telepractice
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