Speech Therapy: FSA Eligibility
What is speech therapy?
Speech-language therapy is a field practiced by a clinician known as speech and language therapists (SLTs) who work closely with parents, teachers, doctors, and other professionals to evaluate and treat communication and swallowing disorders. Speech and language therapy can provide transformative treatment, support, and care for children and adults who have trouble communicating, eating, drinking, and/or swallowing (Parents Magazine).
Issues of speech production and include phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Swallowing disorders include oropharyngeal and functional dysphagia. A speech-language pathologist may spend an hour or so a week with clients and will also teach caregivers how to work closely with the client outside of sessions.
What Do Speech Therapists Help With?
Speech therapists help people of all ages with different speech and language problems. Here are some examples via American Speech-Language-Hearing Association:
- Articulation and Speech Intelligibility
- Physical ability to move the tongue, lips, jaw and palate to produce individual speech sounds called phonemes
- Honing specific speech sounds or sound patterns to increase overall speech intelligibility.
- Fluency and Stuttering
- Ability to speak in a somewhat seamless manner so that speech isn't broken up by repetitions, prolongations, interjections, and blocks
- Expressive Language
- Convey a clear message with correct syntax and diction
- Receptive Language
- Ability to listen to and understand language, includes learning new vocabulary and how to use that knowledge to follow directions, answer questions, and participate in simple conversations
- Cognitive-Communication Skills
- Use of cognitive processes including attention, memory, abstract reasoning, awareness, and executive functions
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
- Communication other than oral speech
- Using an AAC system or device instead of or alongside, speech
- Swallowing/Feeding Issues
- Knowledge of the structures and functions of the oral cavities and how to swallow correctly