What is Speech Therapy?

The professionals who are educated to assess speech and language development and to treat speech and language disorders are called speech-language pathologists (sometimes informally referred to as speech therapists). Speech-language pathologists can also help people with swallowing disorders.

What is Language?

Language is made up of socially shared rules that include the following:
  • What words mean (e.g., "star" can refer to a bright object in the night sky or a celebrity)
  • How to make new words (e.g., friend, friendly, unfriendly)
  • How to put words together (e.g., "Peg walked to the new store" rather than "Peg walk store new")
  • What word combinations are best in what situations ("Would you mind moving your foot?" could quickly change to "Get off my foot, please!" if the first request did not produce results)

When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she has a language disorder.

Does my child need ST?


  • Doesn't Smile or Interact with Others (Birth-3M)
  • Doesn't Babble (4-7 Months)
  • Makes Few Sounds (7-12 Months)
  • Does Not Use Gestures (Ex: Waiving, Pointing) (7-12 Months)
  • Says Only a Few Words (12-18 Months)
  • Doesn't Put Words Together to Form Sentences (1 1/2 - 3 Years)


  • Has Trouble Playing and Talking with Other Children (2 - 3 Years)
  • Has Problems with Early Reading and Writing Skills (Ex: May Not Show Interest in Books or Drawing) (2 1/2 - 3 Years)
  • Says p, b, m, and h incorrectly (1 - 2 Years)
  • Says k, g, t, f, d, and n incorrectly (2 - 3 Years)
  • Produces Speech That is Unclear Even to Familiar People (2 - 3 Years)
  • Struggles to say sounds or words (2½–3 years)
  • Repeats first sounds of words—"b-b-b-ball" for "ball" (2½–3 years)
  • Pauses a lot while talking (2½–3 years)
  • Stretches sounds out—"f-f-f-f-farm" for "farm"(2½–3 years)