Speech and Language


What is Speech?

Speech is the process of producing sounds. Most children make mistakes as they learn to say new words. However, when these mistakes continue past a certain age, a speech assessment may be indicated. Speech difficulties may include problems with articulation (making sounds) and phonological processes (sound patterns).


  • An articulation difficulty involves problems making certain sounds. Sounds can be substituted, left out, added or changed. 
  • A phonological difficulty involves patterns of sound errors. An example of this would be substituting a sound made in the back of the mouth e.g. 'k' for a sound made in the front of the mouth e.g. 't'  ('car' becomes 'tar'). 


 

What is Language?

  • Receptive Language- This is what your child understands. If your child has difficulty in this area, they may have difficulty following directions, answering questions, identifying objects and pictures, understanding what gestures mean, or taking turns when others are talking.
  • Expressive Language- This is how your child uses words and sentences to express needs, thoughts, and ideas. If your child has difficulty in this area, they may not be saying enough for their age. They may also have difficulty with grammar, vocabulary, asking questions, using gesture, or knowing how to start a conversation and keep it going.


The early years of your child's life are the most important for building strong speech and language skills. The earlier a child receives the help they need, the better their speech and language outcome will be.