While a speech-language pathologist (SLP) certainly targets articulation and expressive and receptive language skills, they also address a wide range of communication, cognitive, and reading impairments. They might help a child with reading comprehension challenges effectively recall information or a student with weak social skills make appropriate conversation with peers.
Some specific ways your SLP may help include:
- Improve language-based EF skills. Executive functioning skills serve as the foundation for successful receptive and expressive communication. The SLP might work to help your child follow multi-step directions, organize written language, or sustain attention while reading. For more information on the link between language and executive function skills, check out our blog.
- Boost phonological awareness skills. Phonological awareness is the foundation for reading. SLPs can help your child with segmenting and blending sounds, rhyming, and syllable identification.
- Expand complexity of expressive language. The SLP may teach your child to use more detailed and organized language. This might include teaching a child to provide complete explanations or incorporate describing words when speaking or writing.
- Understand inferences. Making inferences helps one achieve a deeper understanding of the world. Inferences involve using higher-level cognitive skills to combine our background knowledge with new information to make an educated guess. A SLP can help your child understand the hidden meaning in text, non-verbal language, and social situations.
- Build vocabulary. A child with a limited vocabulary may struggle with reading comprehension or effectively expressing themselves. To help students learn new words, the SLP may focus on identifying prefixes (word beginnings) and suffixes (word endings), or using context to derive meaning. With younger children, a SLP can help build vocabulary through games.
- Develop reading comprehension skills. To bolster reading comprehension, the SLP may work with your child to utilize strategies such as: using graphic organizers, visualization, annotating text, or differentiating between main idea and details.
- Improve social communication skills. Using effective communication requires intact nonverbal and verbal language. Areas that might be addressed in therapy would include: conversational skills, appropriate body language, and turn-taking skills.
Why a Speech-Language Pathologist?