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How could a school age child benefit from intervention with a Speech-Language Pathologist?


Angela Flintoff MS CCC-SLP LLC

Often times, people ask me why intervention from a Speech-Language Pathologist would be necessary if a child talks or if the child doesn’t have sound difficulties. While most people know that a Speech-Language Pathologist works with children who have difficulties producing sounds and people who stutter, there are numerous other areas that fall within the scope of practice for school age children.

One area that many people don’t realize a Speech-Language Pathologist can help with is Executive Functioning. A Speech-Language Pathologist can help build a child’s skills with reasoning and problem solving. Furthermore, children who have difficulties with time management and organization can benefit from intervention with a Speech-Language Pathologist. Helping children learn how to take notes, plan and execute a multiple step project, construct study guides and more are all skills linked to executive functioning skills.

Another area that a Speech-Language Pathologist provides therapy for school age children is preliteracy skills. These are the early skills needed before a child starts reading. Phonological awareness is a common area that Speech-Language Pathologists work in. This includes working on identifying words in sentences, syllables, and rhyming words. Within the area of phonological awareness, Speech-Language Pathologists also work on phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is sound segmenting (D—O—G, 3 sounds make up DOG), blending (what words do they words make: fire + man? fireman), substitution (say fireman now say it again but say snow not fire-snowman) and isolation (what sound is at the start of the word dog?).

Furthermore, as children age, literacy skills like decoding, sounding out words and blending them together to read area areas that a Speech-Language Pathologist can provide assistance with. Once children are reading, a Speech-Language Pathologist can help children understand what they read by working on reading comprehension.

Another area that a Speech-Language Pathologist can provide intervention with is written language production. This is working not only on how to spell words, but also how to write grammatically correct sentences. For children who have difficulty writing narratives a Speech-Language Pathologist can work on helping them plan and express their ideas in order to write stories or essays.

Pragmatic Language/social communication is the way we speak to each other. A Speech-Language Pathologist can help someone understand the rules of conversation, nonverbal language ambiguous language and inferences made.