Common Questions about Speech and Language
- What is speech language therapy?
- What can I do to help my child learn to speak fluently?
- How can my Speech-Language Specialist maximize reading skills?
- What is a language disorder?
- What is a fluency (stuttering) disorder?
- What is a voice disorder?
- What is an articulation disorder?
- What are some ways a Speech-Language Specialist can work with my child in the academic setting?
- What are some signs of a communication disorder?
What is speech language therapy?
Speech is the spoken form of language. Children may have speech problems that
make it difficult to understand what they are saying. Language is a code that
we use in order to communicate our thoughts and understand others. Speech
language therapy is the treatment for children with speech and/or language
delays or disorders. A speech disorder refers to a problem with the
production of sounds, voice, or fluency. A language disorder refers to
difficulty in the comprehension and expression of language.
What can I do to help my child learn to speak fluently?
Some suggestions might include talking to your child about everyday events and
activities, encouraging your child to join in a discussion, helping him/her to
express a thought, to understand an idea, and equally important, listening to
your child! Do not forget to monitor your child for ear infections!
How can my Speech-Language Specialist maximize reading skills?
Your Speech-Language Specialist can teach children how phonemes (speech
sounds) sound and feel when they are spoken, how to blend phonemes, organize
words to form well structured sentences, enrich vocabulary, and analyze and
combine word segments.
What is a language disorder?
Language disorders include slow development of vocabulary, concepts, or
grammar; the inability to use different communication styles for different
situations; difficulty comprehending and following directions; decreased
sequencing and story telling skills; decreased auditory memory and/or recall;
and difficulty with phonemic awareness. An expressive and/or receptive
language disorder will result in difficulty with social development, learning,
reading, and writing, as well as reduced comprehension and expression of ideas.
What is a fluency (stuttering) disorder?
Dysfluency (stuttering) is when there are interruptions in the flow or rhythm
of speech. These interruptions can include hesitations, repetitions, or
prolongations and can affect sounds, syllables, words, or phrases.
What is a voice disorder?
Children are diagnosed with voice disorders when they speak in a pitch that is
too high, too low, or monotonous. They may speak too loudly or too softly or
present with speech that is interrupted by breaks. In addition, some children
have a harsh, hoarse, breathy, or nasal vocal quality.
What is an articulation disorder?
Children develop articulation at different rates. In addition, different
sounds are mastered at varying ages. If you have a concern about your child's
speech, please contact the speech-language specialist in your school; the
sound error may be developmental in nature! Articulation disorders include
saying one sound for another, omitting a sound in a word, or distorting a sound.
What are some ways a Speech-Language Specialist can work with my child in the academic setting?
Speech-Language Specialists work with children in the academic setting in a
variety of ways. They combine communication goals with academic and social
goals to help a child with a language and/or speech disorder be successful in
the classroom. A Speech-Language Specialist may integrate classroom
objectives during therapy, help students understand and use basic language
concepts, support reading and writing development, and increase students'
understanding of texts and lessons. These are just a few examples of how your
Speech-Language Specialist will work with your child to make school a
What are some signs of a communication disorder?
The following signs may indicate a language and/or articulation disorder:
- late talker
- performs below expectations in classroom
- difficulty learning to read and write
- unable to express thoughts and ideas
- problems understanding others and following directions
- does not get along with others
- problems taking tests