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About Speech-Language Disorders 

Speech-language disorders fall into one of the following 4 areas:

1) Articulation - the pronunciation of speech sounds

     Your child may have an articulation delay or impairment if he or she is not correctly producing sounds when speaking.  The sounds may be substituted with another sound, distorted, or omitted altogether.  Some examples are exhibiting a lisp when saying "s" sounds, substituting "w" for "l" or "r," or leaving off ending sounds of words.  Most children make some errors in their speech as they develop; an articulation delay is present when these errors continue beyond the age at which they are developmentally expected. 

2) Language - understanding (receptive) and use of (expressive) language; social (pragmatic) language skills 

     Receptive language include skills such as understanding information presented orally, understanding age-appropriate concepts, following directions correctly, and seeing relationships between words. 

     Expressive language consists of skills such as producing complete, logical sentences with correct grammar and word order and using age-appropriate vocabulary and various concepts appropriately.

     Pragmatic language consists of skills such as making and responding to greetings, engaging in conversations appropriately,  and understanding nonverbal cues such as facial expressions.

3) Fluency - refers to the flow of speech

      A fluency disorder is what is commonly known as stuttering.

4) Voice - refers to a person's vocal characteristics

      Although voice disorders are infrequent in the school setting, some characteristics may be having an abnormally breathy, hoarse, or raspy voice.  This is often caused by intubation or the presence of vocal fold nodules.