Who provides speech-language therapy?
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), often called speech therapists, are educated in the study of human communication, its development, and its disorders. SLPs assess speech, language, cognitive-communication, and oral/feeding/swallowing skills. This lets them identify a problem and the best way to treat it.
- A degree
- State certification/licensure in the field
- A certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
An ASHA-certified SLP has passed a national exam and completed an ASHA-accredited supervised clinical fellowship.
Sometimes, speech assistants help give speech-language services. They usually have a 2-year associate’s or 4-year bachelor’s degree, and are supervised by an SLP.
How can parents help?
Parents are key to the success of a child’s progress in speech or language therapy. Kids who finish the program quickest and with the longest-lasting results are those whose parents were involved.
Ask your therapist what you can do. For instance, you can help your child do the at-home activities that the SLP suggests. This ensures the continued progress and carry-over of new skills.
Overcoming a speech or language disorder can take time and effort. So it’s important that all family members be patient and understanding with the child.