Welcome to the FUSD Speech and Language Department
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Speech Language Pathology
Speech Language Pathology is the study of communication disorders. Speech and language disorders refer to problems in communication and can take many forms. Communication is the exchange of information, the sending and receiving of messages and is categorized into two areas: receptive and expressive. The ability to comprehend someone else's speech, sentences, or gestures is called receptive language. The ability to create a spoken message that others will understand is called expressive language.
Speech includes: the articulation of speech sounds, fluency, and/or voice. It refers to the sounds that come out of our mouths and take shape in the form of words. Speech is a motor act with the production of sounds in meaningful combinations by the lips, tongue, teeth, palate, vocal cords, and lungs. A fluency disorder is an interruption in the flow or rhythm of speech characterized by hesitations, repetitions, or prolongations of nouns, syllables, words, or phrases.
Language refers to the content of what is spoken, written, read, or understood and can also be gestural, as when we use body language or sign language. Language is made up of five areas including: form (phonology, morphology, syntax), content (semantics), and function (pragmatics).
Speech-language pathologists, also called SLPs, are experts in communication. SLPs work with people of all ages, from babies to adults. SLPs treat many types of communication and swallowing problems. These include problems with:
Literacy—how well we read and write. People with speech and language disorders may also have trouble reading, spelling, and writing.
Social communication—how well we follow rules, like taking turns, how to talk to different people, or how close to stand to someone when talking. This is also called pragmatics.
Voice—how our voices sound. We may sound hoarse, lose our voices easily, talk too loudly or through our noses, or be unable to make sounds.
Fluency—also called stuttering, is how well speech flows. Someone who stutters may repeat sounds, like t-t-t-table, use "um" or "uh," or pause a lot when talking. Many young children will go through a time when they stutter, but most outgrow it.
Cognitive-communication—how well our minds work. Problems may involve memory, attention, problem solving, organization, and other thinking skills.
Feeding and swallowing—how well we suck, chew, and swallow food and liquid. A swallowing disorder may lead to poor nutrition, weight loss, and other health problems. This is also called dysphagia.