A speech-language pathologist (SLP) is a professional who assesses and treats individuals with communication and feeding disorders that may impair an individual’s ability to speak, read, write, or understand what others say and safely drink and eat a variety of foods. Some causes of disorders may originate from neurological disorders or injuries (stroke), genetic abnormalities, birth trauma, cognitive deficits,, developmental delays or hearing impairment. Many speech-language disorders do not have known causes. Speech Language Pathologists identify deficits and provide individualized treatment to improve current skills and quality of life.
An occupational therapist helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
A Feeding Therapist is usually a speech language pathologist or occupational therapist who received specialized training in feeding disorders and therapy. Feeding therapy is more than just “teaching a child to eat.” Therapists work closely with patients and their families to determine the source of the child’s difficulties and develop very specific therapies to make the entire process of eating easier and more enjoyable. Feeding Therapists are trained to analyze and treat the oral motor and sensory components to eating.
Reading specialists are teachers who have specialized training in helping struggling readers. Most have a master of education degree. Some have additional training for teaching students with dyslexia.
An intervention specialist is a teacher who receives specialized training in helping children with academic and behavioral goals. Children who require specialized instruction may receive services from an intervention specialist.