Your child has been diagnosed with a speech-language delay, but what does it mean? Speech therapists treat a variety of disorders and it is important to understand the difference between speech and language disorders in order to participate fully in your child’s treatment.

Speech therapy

Speech therapy most commonly involves therapy to improve articulation and targets how sounds and words are produced. It involves all components of the vocal tract: the vocal folds (cords), jaw, tongue, lips, and teeth, as well as the hard and soft palates. Therapy often involves teaching oral motor placement to address specific speech sounds, but speech therapy also refers to treatment of voice and fluency disorders.

Language therapy

Language therapy, often divided up into expressive language (the ability to use language), and receptive language (the ability to understand language) targets vocabulary and the ability to put words together to form sentences. Language therapy may also address listening skills, the ability to follow verbal directions, and understanding spoken language. As children grow older, therapy may also treat social communication disorders and deficits in written language and reading comprehension.

Children have unique needs and it is important to understand what type of therapy your child needs. A child may not have a speech delay, yet he or she may need support with language skills. Another child may understand language with no difficulty, but struggle to produce his or her own words and sentences. Wherever your child needs, the more you know, the more effective your involvement in therapy will be.

Link: https://lifespantherapies.com/speech-therapy-vs-language-therapy-whats-the-difference/

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