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Speech Therapy 2017-09-21T03:35:41+00:00

Speech Therapy

Pediatric Speech Therapy in Bellingham at Capstone

When should I seek a speech therapist?

If you have any concerns with your child’s receptive language, expressive language, speech development, voice, fluency, or social communication skills, you should consult with a certified SLP.

Speech therapy treats more than just words. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. In addition to evaluating, diagnosing, and treating a full range of communication and swallowing disorders, SLPs provide:

  • training and education to family, caregivers, and other professionals.
  • aural rehabilitation for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems for individuals with severe expressive and/or language comprehension disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder or progressive neurological disorders.

Social communication disorders occur when a person has trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication. These disorders may include problems communication for social purposes, talking in different ways to suit the listener and setting, and following rules for conversation and storytelling.

All individuals with autism spectrum disorder have social communication problems. Social communication disorders are also found in individuals with other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury. Cognitive-communication disorders include problems organizing thoughts, paying attention, remembering, planning, and/or problem-solving. These disorders usually happen as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or dementia, although they can be congenital.

Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) are feeding and swallowing difficulties, which may follow an illness, surgery, stroke, or injury.


Verbal communication is a purposeful activity of exchanging information and meaning.

LANGUAGE is made up of socially shared rules that include the following:

  • What words mean
  • How to make new words
  • How to put words together
  • What word combinations are best in what situations

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.

SPEECH is the verbal means of communication. Speech consists of the following:

  • Articulation: how speech sounds are made
  • Voice: use of the vocal folds and breathing to produce sound
  • Fluency: the rhythm of speech

When a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder.