Learning to communicate is a very important aspect of a child’s development. Whether he/she is stating an opinion, answering a question in class, or holding a conversation with a friend, effective communication can help young people succeed in school, and later in life. As a school-based speech-language pathologist in an elementary and middle school, my job is to improve a child’s communicative, social, and academic abilities through individual and/or group therapy. Speech therapists not only help students with speech disorders, such as difficulty saying a particular sound, or stuttering, phonemic awareness and reading skills, but we also work with students with language disorders. These include receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language.
- Receptive language deficits include difficulty following directions, comprehending certain question types (i.e. who, what, where, when, why, how), and processing and understanding what is read or heard.
- Expressive language deficits include difficulty communicating with others (verbally, written, gestural), formulating thoughts, and a limited vocabulary.
- Pragmatic language deficits effect social interaction. This includes difficulty maintaining eye contact and personal space, initiating and maintaining conversations, and turn taking skills.
For further information regarding speech and language development, please refer to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) website.Written by: Editorial Team, My Learning Springboard, Inc.