Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tid Bit of the Day: Speech vs. Language

For Parents of Young Children in Speech Therapy,

As I ponder the purpose of my life as a pediatric speech-language pathologist while finishing my pathetic lunch (blueberry yogurt and Batman fruit snacks) I realize that many people, including the families I work with, may not fully understand the difference between speech and language.  Do you?  I had to go to college to get more knowledge for 6 years to become a speech-language pathologist.  It has taken me a long time to really appreciate the differences between speech, language and communication.   But I am certain that I take this knowledge for granted and fail to adequately convey this information to the families I see on a weekly basis. 

So, my Batman fruit snack inspired Tid Bit of the Day is to help parents understand and appreciate the words communication, speech, language & listening.

Communication - An umbrella term referring to the ability to gain and transfer information through three essential components including speech, language and listening.

Speech - Refers to the spoken words we say; now what we say, but HOW we say it. 

Language - Divided into two areas:

     Receptive Language - Refers to what we understand or comprehend (input). 

     Expressive Language - Refers to WHAT we say (output); not how clearly we say it.

Listening - Refers to the brain's input and the way in which we hear and actively process information.  Your child may hear you, but he may not always be listening

So, sometimes in speech-language therapy we are working on improving the child's expressive vocabulary (how many words the child uses) and sometimes we are focusing on improving the child's speech intelligibility (how clearly the words are produced).  What is the focus of your child's speech-language therapy sessions right now?  If you don't know, be sure to ask!

1 comment:

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