Speech-Language Disorders and Delay in Children

Many children experience difficulty learning speech and language. These problems may be a result of physical abnormality such as a cleft palate; hearing loss secondary to birth defect, injury, or recurrent ear infections; or cognitive delays. Other problems are developmental in nature such as articulation and language delays. In order for a child to succeed in communication, it is very important that speech and language problems are recognized and treated as early as possible. Division speech pathologists provide services including the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric speech and language delays and disorders. The diagnostic evaluation includes an in-depth assessment of the childs skills in these areas. The evaluation may be formal or informal, including a combination of standardized tests, direct observation of play and interaction with parent, and parent report. Results from the speech and language evaluation may lead to referrals to other professionals, enrollment in a Division speech-language therapy program, or recommendations for enrollment in such a program through the schools.