What is a Speech Language Pathologist?
A speech-language pathologist, also known as a speech therapist or SLP, is a health professional who diagnoses and treats communication and swallowing disorders. They work with people of all ages, from babies to adults in clinics, schools, and hospitals.
Speech Language Pathologists often use play based instruction to help treat speech and language disorders. Play based therapies are vital in keeping young learners engaged and receptive. SLPs may also use tools like flashcards to make repetition fun.
Also called stuttering, is how well speech flows. Someone who stutters may repeat sounds or entire words, use “um” or “uh,” or pause a lot when talking. Many young children will go through a period of time when they stutter, but most outgrow it. This is a very common condition that SLPs treat.
What can Speech Language Pathologists Diagnose?
SLPs work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive communication, and feeding and swallowing disorders. While they cannot diagnose neurological disorders (SLPs refer out to pediatric neurologists for that) they can diagnose speech and language disorders, voice disorders, stuttering, speech sound disorders, language delays and disorders, and feeding and swallowing disorders.
Speech Language Pathologists can also advise if a child should utilize an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. They can help determine if AAC use should be temporary or long term. The goal of an AAC device is always to establish effective, functional, communication, and can be phased out as verbal communication is established.
Most insurance plans cover speech therapy.
To see if you are covered, please use contact us to inquire about your benefits. If you already receive ABA therapy, speech can likely be added at no additional cost.
Meet Your Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
Deborah Bonomo, M.S., CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who received her Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders from William Paterson University. She earned a post master’s certificate in Autism Studies from the University of Massachusetts. Deborah has worked in a variety of settings including early intervention, public schools and private practice. She is a believer in building strong relationships not only with her clients, but with the family and caregivers of her clients. Deborah serves on the advisory board of Arts for Autism.