Speech-language therapy addresses challenges with language and communication. It can help children improve their verbal, nonverbal, and social communication. The overall goal is to help them communicate in more useful and functional ways.
For a verbal child, Speech Therapy can improve phonemic awareness, sound/syllable manipulation, and auditory perceptual skills. Depending on the learner’s current functioning level, speech therapy can help pre-reading and literacy skills, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing including organizational skills, grammar, and sentence structure. Articulation delays are also addressed if they affect the learner’s ability to effectively communicate with peers and/or teachers.
For a non-verbal child, Speech Therapy can teach nonverbal skills such as signs or gestures, or learning to communicate using an alternative method (such as pictures or technology).
Some SLPs are specifically trained to address feeding and swallowing challenges in people with autism. They can evaluate the particular issue a person is dealing with and provide treatment plans for improving feeding-related challenges.