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Speech is often thought of as articulation, how we say sounds or pronounce words. Language is often thought of as our vocabulary development, combining words to phrases and sentences, ability to understand directions and routines, ability to respond to and ask questions, using correct grammar, comprehension, and more!
As infants children begin developing their speech and language. Early signs of delay include:
Intervention focuses on developing joint attention between child, therapist, and parent, expanding play skills, teaching basic concepts and early vocabulary, and creating an environment to increase the child's understanding and use of language. In some cases, use of augmentative strategies, including picture supports or technology, may be appropriate.
As children begin school years, some may have continued difficulty from speech and language delays in younger years, or may start to have new difficulties when faced with academic challenges. Articulation and language skills continue to be addressed in the school age child.
Difficulties may be seen with:
Intervention continues to focus on expanding skills for learning basic concepts, vocabulary, sentence formation, and becomes more in-depth to improve language comprehension and narrative development. Continued development of social skills occurs for our school-age children too!
Infants and children can experience feeding delays or difficulties. Children with reduced intake due to poor oral control/weakness, poor motor coordination, or picky feeding are at risk for poor growth and development and developmental delays. A speech-language pathologist is uniquely trained to address these difficulties through improving oral motor strength and coordination as well as addressing the sensory acceptance of new foods.