Thursday, November 29, 2012

What is Speech Therapy? AKA - what I do for a living.

Did you know someone growing up who received speech therapy at school? Most likely the cause was a lisp or some other mis-articulation. The field of speech and language pathology has come a long way from those days.
Since I am both a speech language pathologist and a jewelry maker and hunter, I often get questions about how either of these things are done.  Here is some information about my day job.
Nowadays, speech and language therapy addresses many issues, not just articulation problems. Some reasons why someone might need speech therapy are: delayed language acquisition, delayed language use, stuttering, vocal problems, traumatic brain injury, stroke, feeding issues, swallowing issues, and accent reduction, just to name a few.
Children can be seen by a speech-language pathologist for a predetermined number of sessions per week to work on any areas in their speech and language development that show room for growth.  Although people of all ages need speech therapy, most of the information posted on this page will address concerns with children and their language development.
In New York City, speech therapy should always be delivered by a licensed speech-language pathologist (referred to as an SLP). In other cities, therapy can be given by a speech assistant and overseen by an SLP. Children aged two years, ten months to twenty one years old will receive services from the NYC Department of Education (referred to as DOE). These services are free to the children and their families. Children from birth through the end of two years old will receive services from Early Intervention from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
If you believe that your child is in need of speech therapy, but he/she does not qualify for services from the DOE or Early Intervention, you can seek to get services from a private practice or speech clinic. Insurance will usually cover a certain number of visits per year.