What is Speech?
Speech refers to the production of sounds in spoken language. With a disorder or delay in speech, a child may have difficulty expressing a well-conceived thought (a phrase, sentence or conversation) because they do not hear or produce sounds correctly.
What is Language?
Language, on the other hand, is the sharing of communication using conventionally understood words, signs and symbols used by a group or community. In other words, the ability to use words and put them together orderly, grammatically and with appropriate meaning as to fully express one’s thoughts. A child with a language delay or disorder is struggling with formulating a thought and putting it into words and word combinations.
It is possible to be delayed in one or both of these areas of communication.
What is Speech Therapy
Speech-language therapy is the treatment for most kids with speech and/or language disorders.
Who are Speech Language Pathologists and how can they help?
Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP’s) 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:
- Speech Sounds
How we say sounds and put sounds together into words. Other words for these problems are articulation or phonological disorders, apraxia of speech, or dysarthria.
How well we understand what we hear or read, and how we use words to tell others what we are thinking. In adults this problem may be called aphasia.
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.
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.
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.
For more information, visit ASHA.org