S&L Info

Speech & Language Information


  • Appropriately using lips, mouth, tongue, and voice to produce phonemes in isolation, syllables, words, sentences, and connected speech.


  • Speech Sound Disorder: a disorder with specific phonemes.
  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS): difficulty coordinating, planning the sequence of movements involved in producing speech. 
  • Phonological Processes Disorder: consistent simplification of phoneme productions often decreasing speech intelligibility.

African American Dialect along with other dialectical differences are not considered as a disorder and are not treated. Examples:

  • African American: producing /f/ for “th” (wif/with)
  • Spanish: /y/ for “j’ (yump/jump)
  • Haitian Creole: /h/ omission (ello/hello)

What is a Speech Sound Disorder?

A speech sound disorder (SSD) or speech disorder refers to a person who has difficulty acquiring and producing intelligible speech (articulation/phonology), fluent speech without typical dysfluent occurrences (fluency), or difficulty with volume or pitch during speech production(voice).

Disorder Types:

  • Articulation: difficulty producing one or more sounds
  • Phonological Disorder: consistent errors involving manner, place, position
  • Motor Speech Disorder: delays due to Childhood Apraxia
  • Structurally-based Speech Sound Disorder: delays due to anatomical differences
  • Syndrome based Speech Sound Disorders: delays due to syndromes (i.e., Down Syndrome)

Bowen, C. (2011). Classification of children’s speech sound disorders. Retrieved from https://www/speech-language-therapy.com/index.php?option=com_content&viewarticle&id=45 on May 5, 2020.

  • Receptive Language: ability to understand information
  • Expressive Language: ability to communicate your wants, needs, ideas, and knowledge.
  • Social Language (Pragmatics): ability to use language, change language, and follow rules when conversing with others in various situations.

What is a language disorder?

A language disorder is when someone presents with weaknesses in understanding information presented to them (receptive), weaknesses with communicating their wants, needs, ideas, and knowledge and/or difficulty maintaining rules when conversing and interacting with others (social).

Language Disorder:

  • Form: phonology (speech sound patterns) morphology (how words are formed), syntax grammar and structure.
  • Content: semantics (meaning of words)
  • Function: pragmatics (social rules)


Sound created through the use of vocal folds and breathing. Voice is manipulated by

  • Volume: loudness
  • Pitch: high or low
  • quality: harsh, hoarse

A voice disorder is often determined by the individual’s concern regarding an abnormal voice. Voice disorders are treated following a medical evaluation.

  • The smooth rhythm to sound, syllable, word, and connected speech productions without repetitions (repeating words or sounds), prolongations (stretching sounds/words), or blocks (difficulty producing words).
  • Speech Rhythm
  • Rate


The rules we follow when communicating with others including:

  • Purpose of using language: greeting, informing…
  • Using appropriate language based on the situation
  • Following conversation rules: taking turns, knowing personal space, using body language…

Bilingual refers to ability to communicate in more than one language. Children have a stronger ability to learn multiple languages. When considering speech & language delays, often each language has to be assessed to obtain a true picture of a child’s language abilities. Children can present with:

  • weakness in their native language and 2nd language
  • appropriate development of native language and weakness in 2nd language
  • weakness in their native language and appropriate development in 2nd language

Frequently Asked Questions