Effective use of speech (sound production and sound combinations) and language skills (receptive-understanding, expressive-talking, pragmatic-social use) allows people to express their needs, wants, thoughts and feelings as well as to receive and understand information about the world around them. Communication affects one’s ability to interact and connect with others in play, work, and other aspects of daily living. The ability to communicate greatly influences quality of life. When there is a delay or disorder, an individual can become frustrated, “shut down”, and/or engage in undesired behaviors.
Early assessment and intervention by a trained, licensed and ASHA certified (CCC-SLP) Speech Language Pathologist (Speech Therapist) is critical and often necessary to help develop these functional communication skills. The clinician works with the person or child and caregivers to establish functional and individualized goals in order to become more functional communicators and to help each individual achieve their full potential.