Beyond Words 

Speech and Language Therapy

What is speech?

  • Speech refers to the way we physically produce a message, including:
    • Articulation - the way specific speech sounds are produced
    • Phonology - the patterns and organization of speech sounds in a language
    • Fluency - the rhythm of the message
    • Voice - the pitch, volume, and quality of a message

What is language?

  • Language refers to the socially shared rules we follow when we communicate, including:
    • Expressive Language - how we express our thoughts and feelings
      • Learning and using vocabulary 
      • Learning and using grammatical structures
      • Learning the social rules of communication
      • Learning how to ask questions
    • Receptive Language - how we understand the messages of others
      • Understanding specific words, phrases, and sentences
      • Understanding concepts (e.g., prepositions, sizes, colors)
      • Following single and multiple step directions
      • Understanding questions


What is typical speech and language development? 
What to learn more about what your child should be doing?  
Check out our Developmental Checklist.
 
 



When should I be concerned?

Consider having your child's speech and language evaluated if:

  • Your child's pediatrician recommends an evaluation
  • Your child is not meeting developmental milestones
  • Your child loses ANY developmental skills at ANY age.
  • Click to learn more


 

What can I do to help?

  • Talk. Talk. Talk.  Talk to your children all of the time.  Talk about what you are doing.  Talk about what they are doing.  Talk about what you see.  Talk about what you hear.  
  • Read to your children daily.
  • Respond to your children when they communicate with you.
  • Limit screen time (TV, iPad, phones).  Face-to-face communication is important for development.
  • Say words correctly when you talk - avoid baby talk.
  • Don't always correct your child's speech.  Make sure they feel that their intent and message is the most important part of communication.
  • Don't interrupt your child.  Give your child time to talk.
  • See a speech language pathologist if you are concerned. 
 
*Adapted from:
The American Speech Language and Hearing Association (www.ASHA.org)
The Iowa-Nebraska Articulation Norms (Smit, Hand, Freilinger, Bernthal, and Bird (1990), Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 55, 779-798)
Identify the Signs (www.identifythesigns.org)