In practice, a speech pathologist can implement a number of different types of speech and language therapy to assist in helping developing children with a broad range of communication disorders. Focusing on the areas of articulation (creating proper sounds), fluency (flow of speech), and resonance (tone and fluctuations), a speech pathologist works with a child in order to teach them to speak fluently and effectively, and one of the most effective tools at a speech pathologist’s disposal when working with children is reading.
While it is beneficial to read with any child, starting at as young an age as possible, for a child who is developing a communication disorder it can be done as a form of therapy in and of itself. By reading aloud to the child, specifically pronouncing each and every word and how the letters combine to make their appropriate noises, the child can be taught how to emulate the reader. Through hearing, the child learns how the words are supposed to sound, and then through repetition, the child can recite back the correct sounds and words as they have heard them. Depending on the age of the child in question, it is not even entirely necessary for the speech and language therapist to read the exact words on the page, so much as create the sounds of the words properly for the child to hear them.
The speech therapist can also use this to teach the child how to form their mouth, align their tongue, and create the sounds necessary for basic speech correctly. The most important aspect of this particular type of speech and language therapy is that it can also be done at home between a child and a parent. In this way, the child is learning to overcome their particular communication disorder both at home and in their therapy setting.
Using this kind of speech therapy with a child can also teach them to enjoy the act of reading and speaking aloud, which in turn allows them to speak more and work their own way through their disorder. With this type of tool, a speech and language therapist can easily assist a child with a communication disorder, even at the youngest ages, and teach them to outgrow and overcome it. When dealing with children especially, it is probably the most powerful tool at their disposal.