• Articulation: movement of the jaw, tongue and/or lips (“articulators”) that obstruct/interrupt airflow in order to produce speech sounds. Speaking involves accuracy in placement, timing, speed, pressure and integration of the oral structures.  

    Auditory Processing: the ability to attend, discriminate, recognize, comprehend, organize, sequence and/or retain complex sounds/verbal information. To have a breakdown in this process is called an auditory processing disorder/delay. This deficit is present despite having normal hearing. 

    Expressive Language: the ability to use language. In other words, to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, and/or intentions via spoken word, written word, or symbols.

    Communication: the act of transferring information from one place to another. An individual can communicate in a variety of ways:

         Verbal/Spoken Communication = face-to-face, telephone, radio, television, etc.

          Non-Verbal Communication = body language, physical gestures, facial expressions, etc.

         Written Communication = letters, books, magazines, newspaper, email, etc.

         Visualizations = pictures, graphs, charts, maps, etc.

    Fluency: the smoothness or flow with which sounds, syllables, words and phrases are joined together when speaking. A fluent speaker produces speech with rhythm, inflection/prosody, and an appropriate rate. Dysfluency is a term used to describe individuals who demonstrate irregularities in the flow of speech (aka stuttering or cluttering).

    Motor-Planning: the brain organizes a plan and sends a signal to the necessary muscles in order to coordinate, sequence and execute specific movements to produce speech.

    Oral-Motor: encompasses the integrity, strength, coordination, and precise movement of the structures in the oral cavity needed for sound production.

    Phonemic Awareness: the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words. Phonemic awareness is a pre-literacy skill needed to learn how to read. A child who has difficulty with phonemic awareness may demonstrate weakness in rhyming, blending sounds to make words and segmenting words into individual sounds.

    Phonological Processes: sound error patterns in a child's speech that account for substitutions, omissions, or additions of speech sounds that make a child difficult to understand.

    Pragmatic Language: an individual’s use of language in a socially appropriate way.  Pragmatic language includes appropriate use of eye contact, body language, conversational skills, turn-taking, topic initiation, topic maintenance, and termination of topics when speaking to others.

    Receptive Language: the ability to understand spoken language to derive meaning. This includes an individual’s ability to attend, listen, interpret and process information effectively.

    Semantics: word knowledge, vocabulary, and the meaning of language.

    Syntax: the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in language. It includes an individual’s ability to formulate grammatically correct and appropriate utterances.