• Definition: A vocal or verbal means of communication or conveying meaning
  • Includes: articulation (speech sounds), stuttering, voice (ex: hoarseness)
  • Speech delays or disorders can result in difficulty being understood and possible frustration for the child


  • Definition: Knowledge of a code for representing ideas about the world through a system of arbitrary signals for communication
  • There are 5 areas of language: semantics (vocabulary), syntax (sentence structure), morphology (small parts, like verb tense & articles), phonology (sounds; most directly relates to literacy), pragmatics (social skills)
  • Receptive language is one’s ability to comprehend a verbal or non-verbal message
  • Expressive language is one’s ability to verbally or non-verbally communicate a message
  • Language delays or disorders can be demonstrated by difficulty answering simple questions, following directions, reduced verbal output, limited vocabulary usage, etc.

Auditory Processing

In the ASHA Leader (March 2004), the term was defined by an audiologist as: “a deficit in the perceptual processing of auditory information in the central nervous system” the disorder is characterized by poor performance in one or more basic auditory behaviors or skills, including sound localization and lateralization, auditory performance with competing or degraded acoustic signals, auditory discrimination, auditory pattern recognition, and temporal aspectsof audition.”

  • This is diagnosed by an audiologist.
  • Speech-language pathologists treat the language aspects (receptive language/comprehension)

In Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools (April 2004), Alan Kamhi suggests that many children have listening difficulties and that these difficulties are often due to reasons other than auditory (central nervous system) disorders. Specifically, the team should look at all aspects of language:

  • articulation, phonology, phonological awareness
  • morphology (ex: prefixes, suffixes)
  • syntax (sentence structure)
  • semantics (vocabulary)
  • pragmatics (social skills)


  • Definition: Exchange of information and ideas between participants (ie: child-child, parent-child)
  • Communication problems can be caused by a speech and/or language delay or disorder
  • Children may make developmental errors in speech, language or communication which may not be indicative of a delay or disorder


  • Federal law mandates speech and language services for children starting at age 2 years 9 months be provided without charge in the local public school
  • Another therapeutic choice is home-based and family-centered evaluations and treatment
  • My philosophy for speech and language treatment includes ongoing communication among children, family, teachers, and therapists