Is There a Difference Between Speech and Language?
The terms speech and language are thrown around, almost interchangeably. But did you know there are actually a few key distinctions between these two different skills? If you have a child that has been referred to a Louisville speech pathologist, this is information is especially important.
Speech is the sounds you make in order to communicate. This includes articulation (how speech sounds are made), voice (use of the vocal cords and breathing to produce sound) and fluency (the rhythm of speech). A speech disorder occurs when a child is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or has problems with their voice.
For children, an important component to developing proper speech is being able to hear the sounds they and others are making. If a child is suffering from undiagnosed hearing loss, they are at risk of delayed speech development. Hearing loss is not the only disorder that can compromise a child’s ability to develop speech skills. An issue with the physiological components of speech (their lungs, vocal cords and mouth, including the tongue, lips, jaws and teeth) can also cause an issue with speech development.
Language is made up of the socially shared rules that include:
- What words means.
- How to conjugate words to make new words.
- How to correctly put words in order.
- What combinations of words are best in specific social situations.
If your child has trouble understanding other when they speak (receptive language) or sharing ideas, thoughts or feelings (expressive language) then they are suffering from a language disorder. Many children with these types of disorders suffer from learning disabilities.
The best way to treat a speech or language disorder is to identify it early. One of your (many, many, many) jobs as a parent is to pay close attention your child’s development and language milestones in comparison to other children their age. If an issue is caught early, your Louisville speech pathologist can enroll your child in the correct preschool or kindergarten program.
If you think your child may be suffering from a speech or language problem, don’t wait. Contact your local Louisville speech pathologist today.