What is the difference between speech and language?
Speech is one form of expressive communication. It is the sounds and words we speak. Speech is a fine motor skill. It requires the coordination of more than 70 muscles and body parts.
Language is the content of expressive communication (spoken, written, read, gestured, signed). It is the meaning that the sounds and words of speech has. Receptive language is our ability to understand a message. Expressive language is the message we send.
What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)?
Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a neurological speech disorder.
It effects a child's ability to clearly and consistently produce and sequence the sounds and syllables necessary for speech.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) is the best resource available to professionals and parents. Visit the website here. You can also download an easy to read brochure.
I am worried using an AAC device will prevent my child from developing speech. Is this true?
Many people believe that giving a child a speech generating AAC device will keep them from developing speech. This is NOT true!
These types of devices help give children a voice. They allow for effective communication which often reduces frustration. Often children will make progress in their speech development while using an AAC device.
For more information, including current research to support using AAC, visit the AssistiveWare website here.
When should I expect my child to start talking?
There is a range of normal when it comes to speech and language development. In general, you should expect your child to use at least 2 "true" words and follow simple directions by 12 months.
"True" words have a clear meaning. They do not have to be spoken perfectly. For example, saying "dee dee" for "teddy" or "too" for "shoe". As long as your child is consistently saying the same thing to reference a person, object, or action; its a word!
If I am worried, when should I ask for help?
Many parents wait to see a speech-language pathologist because they believe their child is too young to participate in an evaluation.
It's never too early! Speech-language pathologists can assess skills in babies and toddlers.
If you are concerned about your child's speech and language development, it is the right time to ask for help.
What milestones should I be looking for and when?
The internet can be very helpful. But its difficult to identify the good information from the not-so-good information.
Speech-Language Therapy Dot Com is an excellent resource for parents. A clear summary of what and when can be found here.
What does normal speech-language development look like?
Again, we recommend an article on Speech-Language Therapy Dot Com. Click here to find out how children typically learn language
Is there a parent-friendly book that explains speech-language development and my role as a parent?
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has created a practical guide for parents called “Beyond Baby Talk” by Kenn Apel and Julie J. Masterson.
Click here for more information
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