What is speech? What is language?

Language is different from speech. Language is made up of socially shared rules that include the following:

  • What words mean (e.g., “star” can refer to a bright object in the night sky or a celebrity)
  • How to make new words (e.g., friend, friendly, unfriendly)
  • How to put words together (e.g., “Peg walked to the new store” rather than “Peg walk store new”)
  • What word combinations are best in what situations (“Would you mind moving your foot?” could quickly change to “Get off my foot, please!” if the first request did not produce results)

Speech is the verbal means of communicating. Speech consists of the following:

  • Articulation: How speech sounds are made (e.g., children must learn how to produce the “r” sound in order to say “rabbit” instead of “wabbit”).
  • Voice: Use of the vocal folds and breathing to produce sound (e.g., the voice can be abused from overuse or misuse and can lead to hoarseness or loss of voice).
  • Fluency: The rhythm of speech (e.g., hesitations or stuttering can affect fluency).
  • Learn more at www.asha.org

What should my child be doing at this age?

The following are very general sets of age appropriate skills from www.asha.org:

Should I be concerned about my child’s speech and language development?

Children develop at different rates and target different skills at different times.  You are the expert on your child.  If you are concerned, give us a call to set up a speech and language screening.  Together we can decide where to go from there.

Would my child benefit from a speech and language screening?

If you have concerns about your child’s speech and language development after reading the above set of age appropriate skills, give us a call.  A screening can put your mind at ease and helps to determine whether or not there is need for an evaluation.

What is speech and language therapy?

Speech therapy with Effective Communication is fun, effective and professional.   We work hard to make the most of both you and your child’s time.  Effective therapy is essential when trying to reach your child’s maximum potential.  We pride ourselves on proven results, happy children and partnerships with parents.

Do you only treat childhood apraxia?

We specialize in childhood apraxia and all communicative disorders and delays.  See our pediatric speech therapy page for details.

What is childhood apraxia?

Apraxia of Speech is considered a motor speech disorder. For unknown reasons, children with apraxia have great difficulty planning and producing the precise, highly refined and specific series of movements of the tongue, lips, jaw and palate that are necessary for intelligible speech. Apraxia of speech may also be called verbal apraxia, developmental apraxia of speech, or verbal dyspraxia. No matter what it is called the most important concept is the root word “praxis.” Praxis means planned movement. So to some degree or another, a child with the diagnosis of apraxia of speech has difficulty programming and planning speech movements. Apraxia of speech is a specific speech disorder.
Learn more at www.apraxia-kids.org

What are the characteristics of childhood apraxia?

While there are many reasons that some children fail to develop age-appropriate speech and/or language skills, there are some frequently mentioned characteristics of children with apraxia of speech (not every child will have all characteristics.) View the list at www.apraxia-kids.org