Home » Language Delay Info » What is Language? What is the difference? Speech Delay / Language Delay and or Disorder?

What is Language? What is the difference? Speech Delay / Language Delay and or Disorder?

I thought I would just start with what actually defines Language delay and Language/Speech disorders, start at the roots of it.   I do plan to provide a glossary in the coming weeks in my recommended reading and e-bookshop which you can purchase to give you more insight to jargon that surrounds this topic.

I found this information on the Novita Children Services Website which I thought worth  sharing as it just explains it quite simply and we like simply.  Speech specialists and Peditricians and well even school sometimes can make it, well sound not so clear to our parent ears.

  • Language is understanding and using the words and grammar that build sentences.
  • It is what we say and the way we put words together to form sentences.
  • It is different from speech – speech is how we make sounds with our lips, tongue and mouth.
  • Understanding others is referred to as receptive language or language comprehension.
  • Expressing ourselves to others is referred to as expressive language.

Most people use speech to express themselves but there are also other forms of language expression, for example, writing.
Some people develop language using alternative methods, such as signing, or pointing to pictures or symbols (ACC).

AAC stands for augmentative and alternative communication:

  • Augment means to add to or to enhance. For example, we can augment speech by using gestures, eye pointing and body language.
  • Alternative means a choice or a substitute. We can use alternative communication to speech by pointing to symbols, signing or by spelling.
  • Communication means to send and receive messages with at least one other person.

More on this topic can be found at:   http://www.novita.org.au/Content.aspx?p=63

Speech and Language Disorders

When a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder . Difficulties pronouncing sounds, or articulation disorders, and stuttering are examples of speech disorders.
When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she has a language disorder .
Both children and adults can have speech and language disorders. They can occur as a result of a medical problem or have no known cause.

* source:  American Speech and Language Hearing Association

Hmm no known cause.  That’s the outcome for our family.   My son has it and we just work with it but it did take probably the best part of his first 7 years (and he’s only 8 now) to find out this is where we stood.

But that doesn’t mean he can’t learn.  And it definitely doesn’t mean he can’t particpate in life or needs to not be included.
It does mean that to communicate both he and the person communicating with him, it needs to be explained more visually – gesture and show him, use picture cues and I can tell you when all else fails – he draws me a picture and I draw one for him.

I will be adding posts with helpful information on dealing with communicating with teachers for you and your children, sports coaches, family etc.   I will share with you some ideas and happy to hear from others as well about how they cope and ensure their child is heard and understood to the best of other peoples ability.

Kids Speech Matters!


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