Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) specialize in evaluating and treating communication and orofacial-myofunction disorders. They are often referred to as speech teachers, therapists, or clinicians. To practice in Oregon and most other states, SLPs must hold a master’s degree, be certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, and be licensed by the state in which the service is delivered. The designation of CCC after the clinician’s name and degree refers to the ASHA certificate.


Speech is “the form” of communication. It involves coordinated & differentiated muscle positioning and movement.

  • Articulation – speech sound production involving jaw, cheeks, tongue, and lips
  • Phonation – the process of sound production involving the glottis (vocal folds & space between the folds)
  • Resonation – velo-pharyngeal mechanism
  • Respiration – speech breathing
  • Intonation – the variation of pitch, volume, and voice, including the aeromechanical components of respiration


Examples of Speech Disorders

  • Speech Sound Disorders: Articulation and Phonological Processes
  • Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (see below)
  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech
  • Dysarthria
  • Stuttering
  • Voice



Language is “the content” of communication. It involves the words we use to understand our world and to express ourselves.

  • Phonology – the speech sound system of a language, including all the elements and their rules for combination
  • Morphology – units of meaning that make up the grammar of a language; rules that modify meaning at the word level
  • Syntax – rules governing the order and combination of words to form sentences and the relationship among elements within a sentence
  • Semantics – word meaning & intent of utterances
  • Pragmatics – functional application of language involving rules of sociolinguistic system


Examples of Language Disorders

  • Preschool Language Disorders
  • Language-Based Learning Disorders
  • Dyslexia
  • Selective Mutism



Orofacial-myofunction involves positioning and movement of oral structures during chewing and swallowing and when at rest. With orofacial-myofunctional disorder (OMD), a person’s tongue moves forward, often in an exaggerated way, during speech and/or swallowing. This is commonly referred to as “tongue thrust.” Orofacial-Myofunctional Disorder treatment addresses atypical swallowing as well as habitual open mouth rest posture, ineffective chewing and sucking or other atypical oral habits. Some children produce sounds incorrectly as a result of OMD.