Definition: Speech Therapy focuses on receptive language, or the ability to understand words spoken to you, and expressive language, or the ability to use words to express yourself. It also deals with the mechanics of producing words, such as articulation, pitch, fluency, and volume. Adults may need speech therapy after a stroke or traumatic accident that changes their ability to use language; for children, it generally involves pursuing milestones that have been delayed. Some children only need help with language, others have the most problems with the mechanics of speech, and some need every kind of speech help there is. The professional in charge of your child's speech therapy -- called a speech-language pathologist, speech therapist, speech teacher, or whatever combination of these words your school district pastes together -- will work to find fun activities to strengthen your child in areas of weakness. For mechanics, this might involve exercises to strengthen the tongue and lips, such as blowing on whistles or licking up Cheerios. For language, this might involve games to stimulate word retrieval, comprehension or conversation.
Also Known As: speech pathology, speech-language pathology, speech class