What is Speech and Language Therapy?

Speech Therapy (ST) improves a child’s speech and language functioning and focuses on improving a child’s ability to communicate and interact in their social environment. At Talk and Play Associates, we provide a comprehensive assessment to evaluate speech, language, oral motor function, voice and fluency.

Language refers to the use of words and socially shared rules to communicate with others. Language can be divided into three main categories:

•  Receptive Language (e.g. understanding the meaning of words and word combinations)

•  Expressive Language (e.g. using words and word combinations to express thoughts and ideas)

•  Pragmatic Language (e.g. the ability to use language to socialize and interact with others)

Speech refers to the verbal meaning of communicating.  Speech refers to the following:

 •  Oral Motor: Refers to the function of the lips, tongue and mouth in the production of speech.

•  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:  Refers to the function of the vocal folds and respiratory system to produce sound. Voice disorders can impair a child’s vocal quality, pitch, and/or vocal loudness.

•  Fluency:  Refers to the rhythm and cadence of speech. Fluency disorders are often referred to as “stuttering.”

Speech Therapy focuses on the remediation of speech production and language development, as well as voice, fluency, oral motor functioning and social skills.

Signs and symptoms of speech and language delays

      • Non-verbal at age 15-18 months.
      • Not using two-word combinations by age 2 (e.g. More cookies.  Mommy book.)
      • Difficulty following simple commands or questions (e.g. Roll ball. Where’s your shoe?)
      • Echolalia (repeating back words and phrases without comprehension).
      • Difficulty naming objects or “talking in circles” with lack of the appropriate vocabulary.
      • Difficulty acquiring the rules of grammar.
      • Difficulty with word meaning.
      • Articulation difficulties.
      • Unintelligible speech, but with adequate vocal inflection and gestures.

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If you have concerns about your child’s speech and language development, we are always happy to address your questions and, if needed, schedule an evaluation. Please contact us today!

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