Speech and Language Disorders

Speech and Language disorders are the most common of childhood disabilities affecting about 1 in 12 children, and include a wide variety of conditions that at the core have challenges in effective communication.  The terms Speech and Language have very different meanings. If your child has trouble with speech, he/she struggles with the “how-to” of talking; the coordination of the muscles and movements necessary to produce speech. If your child has trouble with language, he/she struggles with understanding what he/she hears or sees. Your child may struggle to find the right words and/or organize those words in a meaningful way to communicate a message or hold a conversation. Speech Disorders include Articulation-the way we say our speech sounds, Phonology-the speech patterns we use, Apraxia – difficulty planning and coordinating the movements needed to make speech sounds, Fluency- stuttering, and Voice – problems with the way the voices sounds, such as hoarseness. On the other hand Language Disorders includes : Receptive Language- difficulty understanding language, Expressive Language-  difficulty using language, Pragmatic Language  – Social communication; the way we speak to each other

There are also some other disorders that the speech language pathologist can help you with. These include Deafness/Hearing Loss – loss of hearing ; In the case of children with cochlear implants or those with very good benefit from hearing aids , therapy includes aural/oral (re)habilitation or Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT) and in the case of late amplification or limited benefit from hearing aids,  therapy includes developing lip reading, speech , and /or alternative communication systems. Speech therapists also work with Oral-Motor Disorders- weak tongue and/or lip muscles and some work on Swallowing / Feeding Disorders- Difficulty chewing and /or swallowing