Many people think the terms 'speech' and 'language' are synonymous with one another; however, these two terms are quite different. Let me explain...
- Articulation: includes the sounds our tongue, teeth, and lips produce to form words.
- Fluency: refers to the pattern or flow of one's speech. This may be interrupted by repetitions of sounds or syllables, prolongation of sounds, pauses, or long hesitations.
- Voice: involves the quality, pitch, resonance, and intensity of one’s voice. People who have difficulties in reference to voice may sound monotone, harsh, breathy, or sing-song in nature. Other difficulties may arise due to polyps or nodules on the vocal cords or other harmful behaviors such as screaming or constant loud talking.
Language: refers to the system of communication we use to convey messages to one another. It involves BOTH the understanding and production of information.
Language delays or disabilities may include:
- Having a slow rate of acquiring new vocabulary or understanding words
- Difficulty understanding oral directions
- Difficulty understanding abstract ideas
- Difficulty with syntax (word order/grammar)
- Difficulty with morphology (present/past tense)
- Problems engaging in social interactions and conversations with peers