Speech Therapy vs. Language Therapy
ASHA defines speech and language as the following:
Speech is how we say sounds and words. Speech therapy can include:
Articulation: How we make speech sounds using the mouth, lips, and tongue. Articulation refers to how clearly a child is speaking. If a child is difficult to understand they may be producing speech sound errors.
Voice Therapy: Refers to how we use our vocal folds and breath to make sounds. Our voice can be loud or soft or high- or low-pitched. The quality of our voice can be affected by talking too much, yelling, or frequent coughing.
Fluency: Refers to the rhythm of our speech. Someone who stutters may repeat sounds, like t-t-t-table, use “um” or “uh,” or pause a lot when talking.
Language refers to how well we understand what we hear or read and how we use words to tell others what we are thinking.
A child can have difficulties with speech skills, language skills, or both. Having difficulty understanding what others say is a receptive language disorder. Having problems sharing our thoughts, ideas, and feelings is an expressive language disorder. It is possible to have both receptive and expressive language delays/deficits.
If you have concerns, please reach out to us to schedule an evaluation!
What is a Speech-Language Pathologist
Speech-Language Pathologists, as defined by ASHA, are professionals who hold the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), which requires a master’s, doctoral, or other recognized post-baccalaureate degree. ASHA-certified SLPs complete a supervised postgraduate professional experience and pass a national examination as described in the ASHA certification standards, (2014). Demonstration of continued professional development is mandated for the maintenance of the CCC-SLP. SLPs hold other required credentials where applicable (e.g., state licensure, teaching certification, specialty certification).
Communication Developmental Milestones
All children develop at their own rate. These developmental milestone charts explain when most children who speak only one language will reach each milestone. It is recommended that your child be close to reaching each milestone listed by the time he/she reaches the top of the age range. Missing one skill in the age range does not mean that your child has a speech and/or language delay. You may want to speak to your pediatrician if you have any concerns that your child is not meeting these milestones.
Early intervention refers to therapy services for children birth to 3 years of age and their families that present with any type of developmental delay. Early intervention is available in every state under federal law.
Families and professionals, including audiologists and speech-language pathologists, are part of an early intervention team. They help evaluate children in the areas of communication, gross and fine motor skills, social-emotional skills, as well as adaptive/self-help skills and cognitive skills. Once developmental skills are identified to begin intervention, a speech-language pathologist can support your child in acquiring the appropriate communication skills for his/her developmental age.
Early intervention is individualized and family depending on the child’s needs and the family’s priorities. Early intervention is critical for children who have been identified as having any developmental delays.
Has Your Child's Hearing Been Tested?
Hospitals now routinely perform hearing screening on infants in the first day or two after birth. If an infant doesn’t pass the initial screening, he or she is referred for further testing by a pediatric audiologist. Even if you think your child’s hearing is normal, it is important to follow up with the audiologist for additional testing and evaluation. If your child has a history of frequent ear infections, seeing an audiologist for a hearing evaluation can be beneficial in identifying any hearing loss that could be present. If you have additional questions or concerns about your child’s hearing, we can connect you with local audiologists for evaluations.
Social Skills/Pragmatic Language
Social skills or pragmatic language is how we use language in social settings. It includes social interaction, social cognition, and language processing. A social communication disorder is characterized by persistent difficulties with the use of verbal and nonverbal language for social purposes. Primary difficulties may be in social interaction, social understanding, pragmatics, language processing, or any combination of the above. This can affect a child’s ability to make new friends, participate in conversations with peers, as well demonstrate appropriate peer interactions.
What is Stuttering?
Stuttering is an interruption in the flow of speech characterized by repetitions (sounds, syllables, words, phrases), sound prolongations, blocks, interjections, and revisions. It is important to note that stuttering is normal and developmentally appropriate in children up until the age of 6. Stuttering is more than just disfluencies. Stuttering also may include tension and negative feelings about talking. Stuttering can change from day to day. You may have times when you are fluent and times when you stutter more. Stress or excitement can lead to more stuttering. For more information, visit ASHA’s website here.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
AAC means all of the ways that someone communicates besides talking. People of all ages can use AAC if they have trouble with speech or language skills. Augmentative means to add to someone’s speech. Alternative means to be used instead of speech. Some people use AAC throughout their life. Others may use AAC only for a short time. An SLP can help find the right AAC system for you or your child. A multidisciplinary evaluation is most beneficial if you are curious whether or not an AAC device would support your child. You can always contact your local FAAST center for additional resources, information, and support.
Auditory Processing Disorder
Children with Auditory Processing Disorder may exhibit a variety of listening and related complaints. For example, they may have difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, following directions, and discriminating (or telling the difference between) similar-sounding speech sounds. Sometimes they may behave as if a hearing loss is present, often asking for repetition or clarification. In school, children with APD may have difficulty with spelling, reading, and understanding information presented verbally in the classroom. Click here for more information.
Coming Soon: Social Skills Groups!
Group Skills in a Small Ratio
Learn Social Language Skills with Peers
Ran by a Speech-Language Pathologist and Behavioral Health Provider
Find Out More
Contact us to find out more about how to schedule an evaluation for your child!