Speech Disorders and Language Disorders


A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.


Speech disorders include:

  • Articulation disorders: difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly.

  • Fluency disorders: problems such as stuttering, in which the flow of speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages


Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive:


Receptive disorders: difficulties understanding or processing language.

Expressive disorders: difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.


When do you need to consult a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist?


  • Early detection and intervention is essential.Professional help should be sought out as soon as you have concern. The most critical time period for speech and language development is between one and three years of age.

  • Your child is NOT reaching developmental speech and/or motor milestones

  • You have difficulty understanding what the child is trying to say

  • You think the child is speaking differently from children of the same age

  • The child has difficulty telling you what he or she wants

  • The child has difficulty understanding what people are saying

  • The child has difficulty swallowing, chewing or tolerating textured foods or liquids

  • The child has persistent harsh or breathy vocal quality for several period of times

  • Teachers are complaining about your child's lack of attention and poor concentration


When Is Therapy Needed?


Kids might need speech-language therapy for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Receptive/Expressive language delay

  • Early Intervention

  • Voice Disorders

  • Hearing impairments

  • Cognitive (intellectual, thinking)

  • Weak oral muscles

  • Birth defects such as cleft lip or cleft palate

  • Motor planning problems

  • Respiratory problems

  • Feeding and Swallowing disorders

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Auditory Processing Disorder