What You Need to Know About Speech Therapy for Kids

A Mother and her special needs daughter trying to do Speech Therapy on grey couch

Speech is a component of everyday life. It helps us communicate with others in various situations. Providing speech therapy for kids with language challenges is critical for lifelong success.

What You Need to Know About Speech Therapy for Kids 

What is Speech Therapy? 

When one thinks of “speech,” he thinks of the literal act of speaking. However, speech is far more in-depth than just talking.  

Children who are nonverbal communicate differently than others. Nonverbal children would benefit from speech therapy to help communicate effectively with others without using audible words. In case you want to read more about this here is an article: What does it mean when a child is nonverbal? 

But that doesn’t mean that just nonverbal children need speech therapy. Speech therapy helps with many different language disorders and social skills in both verbal and nonverbal children.  

Speech develops over time. If it doesn’t, it can have an impact on a child. Some of the effects include how the child adjusts to and interacts with:

  • Family
  • Peers
  • Community 

How to Know if Your Child Needs Speech Therapy? 

There are many reasons for speech therapy in children. It is essential to have a thorough evaluation completed.  

An accurate diagnosis of a speech or language problem requires a detailed evaluation by a trained professional. The evaluations will include testing by both a speech therapist and a hearing professional.  

Both of these evaluations help to determine the root cause of a potential language problem.  

What are Signs of Speech Problems in Kids?

There are many reasons a teacher or medical professional may request your child have a speech evaluation. You can request an assessment for your child too. Here are some signs to look out for in your child. 

Communication Problems

  • Does your child have trouble pronouncing letters?
  • Is it hard to understand your child when they are speaking? 
  • Does your child have difficulty understanding what others say? 

What are Some Common Speech Problems?

Speech problems can show up in a variety of different ways, including: 


Problems with fluency can include stuttering issues where the speech flow is interrupted by:

  • Abnormal stoppages
  • Partial-word repetitions
  • Prolonging sounds or syllables


Having an articulation problem can include difficulties with:

  • Producing sounds in syllables
  • Saying words incorrectly to the point listeners can’t understand.

Resonance or Voice: 

Problems may include issues with:

  • Pitch
  • Volume
  • Quality of the voice that distracts the listener from understanding.   

Also, some of these disorders can cause pain or discomfort for a student when speaking.

Common Language Disorders in Kids that Need Speech Therapy

Language Disorders are receptive, expressive, or both. Here are some common language disorders. 


Having a receptive language disorder is where a child has difficulty with understanding and processing language.

Expressive can include:

  • Combining Words
  • Limited Vocabulary
  • Inability to use Language appropriately socially

Cognitive-communication skills include difficulty with: 

  • Memory
  • Perception
  • Attention
  • Regulation
  • Problem-solving
  • Organization.

Dysphagia or Oral Feeding 

These disorders affect the way someone eats or drinks. It includes problems with:

  • Chewing
  • Coughing
  • Gagging
  • Coughing

Other Reasons to Evaluate for Speech Therapy for Kids

  • Hearing impairments
  • Cognitive or other developmental delays
  • Weak Oral Muscles
  • Chronic hoarseness
  • Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy 
  • TBI
  • Motor Planning 
  • Articulation Problems
  • Birth Defects (i.e. Cleft lip or Cleft palate)
  • Feeding or Swallowing Disorders


Additional Resources  

The benefits of speech therapy for kids are endless. Speech-Language therapy helps children improve on every aspect of their lives ranging from intelligible speech to daily eating skills. It is a way to enhance communication, improve the ability to form and maintain friendships, and increase everyday functions. Children need these essential skills to be successful in society and daily life.   

Has your child experienced speech therapy? Please share your experience with us! 

Here are a few other posts you may enjoy:

Do you have a child that needs one-on-one special education tutoring that can be done from anywhere? Our special education experts conduct their sessions online! Get them started with a free consultation!


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Amanda Wagoner, MAT

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