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Frequently-Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between a Speech-Language Pathologist and a Speech-Language Therapist?

2. Why do some Speech-Language Therapists have M.S. after their name and some have M.A. after their name? Which is better?

3. I am concerned about my toddler's speech, but the pediatrician says that boys are just slow and to wait until next year's check-up. But I'm uncomfortable waiting when I feel that my son is not developing communication the way he should.

4. My child had tons of ear infections between 6 months and 2 years. We had tubes placed to drain the fluid, and there haven't been many infections since then. My friend says that ear infections can cause hearing loss, but the hearing test shows everything is okay now. Should I be concerned because my child wasn't hearing much for those 18 months of almost-constant ear infections?

5. I have one child in preschool and another in kindergarten. The preschooler does not talk as well as my first child did at that age, and she seems to lag behind the other kids at preschool. The teacher says it is probably because she is the second child. But it just doesn't seem right. Do you have a checklist of the skills my child should have at this age?

6. My child is 4 and still doesn't say the "s" and "l" sounds. He can be hard to understand and doesn't sound like other kids his age. I was told that kids often don't say these sounds correctly until sometime after kindergarten. Is that true?




Q: What is the difference between a Speech-Language Pathologist and a Speech-Language Therapist?
A: Speech-Language Pathologist is the official, fancy name for people in our profession. In everyday conversation, we tend to call ourselves therapists. After all, we provide therapy, not pathology. SLP stands for Speech-Language Pathologist.

Q: Why do some Speech-Language Therapists have M.S. after their name and some have M.A. after their name? Which is better?
A: It simply has to do with what school the therapist attended to receive their Master's degree. Some schools offer an M.S. and some offer a M.A., but the training programs are essentially the same. All of us need to pass the same national exam upon graduation, whether we are graduating with an M.S. or an M.A.

Q: I am concerned about my toddler's speech, but the pediatrician says that boys are just slow and to wait until next year's check-up. But I'm uncomfortable waiting when I feel that my son is not developing communication the way he should.
A: Pediatricians are specialists in medical health, and they can offer parents some good information about general development. But you spend a lot more time with your child than the pediatrician does, so you should trust your instincts. Give me a call and we can talk about your concerns to see whether your child should be screened by a Speech-Language Therapist.

Q: My child had tons of ear infections between 6 months and 2 years. We had tubes placed to drain the fluid, and there haven't been many infections since then. My friend says that ear infections can cause hearing loss, but the hearing test shows everything is okay now. Should I be concerned because my child wasn't hearing much for those 18 months of almost-constant ear infections?
A: It is true that ear infections (also called otitis media) can disrupt your child's hearing at the time of the infection. The thick fluid in the middle ear blocks sound and prevents the eardrum from vibrating. This is a temporary hearing loss because of the thick fluid, which is why your child's hearing tests normal now. Your child may develop speech and language appropriately. However, children with a history of numerous ear infections are more likely to develop future problems. For some, their articulation may be poor, or their use of words may be delayed. Others develop something called auditory processing difficulty. These kids may have trouble following directions, listening in group situations, or learning to read. They are often considered inattentive. I wouldn't worry unless you're seeing anything that concerns you. Feel free to give me a call and I can give you more information about what to look out for.

Q: I have one child in preschool and another in kindergarten. The preschooler does not talk as well as my first child did at that age, and she seems to lag behind the other kids at preschool. The teacher says it is probably because she is the second child. But it just doesn't seem right. Do you have a checklist of the skills my child should have at this age?
A: We do have both a checklist of skills children should have at various ages and a list of potential warning signs at various ages (click here for a list of the warning signs). But here's the thing that is really hard about using a checklist with toddlers and preschoolers. At these ages, there is a wide variety of what is considered "typical" development. So, you could look at a checklist and think your child is on-track, when there is actually a significant difficulty. Or you could look at a checklist and think that your child is a year delayed, when in fact she is still within the ballpark of typical development. The absolute best way to be confident about what is going on with your toddler or preschooler (or any age child) is to talk to a Speech-Language Therapist. We look at not only what skills your child has or doesn't have, but also how she is learning language and at what rate. I'd be happy to talk to you and discuss what you are seeing.

Q: My child is 4 and still doesn't say the "s" and "l" sounds. He can be hard to understand and doesn't sound like other kids his age. I was told that kids often don't say these sounds correctly until sometime after kindergarten. Is that true?
A: Yes, that is true -- but it sounds like you suspect things aren't right anyway. I'm sure you are listening to other kids his age who don't say those sounds correctly either. It is important to look at not just whether a child is saying the sound correctly by the right age. A Speech-Language Therapist also looks at what sound they are using instead of the correct one, or how they are trying to say that sound. It could be that even though your child is not past the age of concern for those sounds, he is doing something different in their place than what the other kids usually do. In that case, he would need therapy now. Call me to schedule a screening and I'll let you know what's going on.


 

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phone (408) 371-4004 or e-mail info@creativecommunicationforkids.com
 

Creative Communication for Kids, 880 East Campbell Avenue, Suite 203 Campbell, CA 95008, fax (408) 371-5024

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