Overview

 

Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) specialize in evaluating and treating communication and orofacial-myofunctional 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 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.
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Speech

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

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
  • Selective Mutism

 

Orofacial-Myofunction

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.