The speech-language pathologist specializes in communication disorders. She or he helps children learn to communicate, to say words clearly, and to understand and use language. Some children may need to use “augmentative communication devices” to communicate. These devices range from simple communication boards with pictures to more complex machines that “speak” for the child. The speech-language pathologist also facilitates oral motor development for eating, drinking and talking.
Some speech language pathologists are pediatric feeding and swallowing specialists that assist families in safe swallowing techniques and broadening their child’s food repertoire. Children that are picky eaters can develop lifelong issues that should be addressed early to establish and maintain quality nutrition. Family education regarding swallowing, feeding techniques and nutrition are crucial for success.