Definitions and Terms

Receptive Language

Refers to the development of the underlying knowledge of language and how well a child understands speech and language.

Articulation disorders

Refers to speech production and how well a child produces specific sounds. An articulation delay is a difficulty in physically producing specific sounds using the appropriate articulators, (jaw, tongue, lips) making it difficult to understand the child.

Phonological development

Refers to patterns in sounds and how they are put together to produce words. Young children often simplify words using patterns (such as cluster reduction- "blue" become "bu") These types of errors are typical in young children, but sometimes persist much longer (6 years and older.)

Auditory Processing Disorder

Also known as central auditory processing disorders (CAPD) is a difficulty processing information due to an inability to recognize and interpret sounds composing speech. Additionally, most kids with this disorder do not have a loss of hearing sensitivity, but have a hearing problem in the sense that they do not process auditory information normally.

Oral Motor Skills

Refers to the ability to coordinate precise movement of the articulators, (lips, tongue, jaw, teeth, hard and soft palates) for the purposes of speech production and feeding.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

A disorder characterized by the loss in the ability to perform voluntary motor movements. Children with CAS have problems producing syllables, sounds, and words due to cognitive difficulties coordinating the articualtors (e.g. lips, jaw, and tongue) and muscle movements necessary to produce intelligible speech.

Phonological Awareness

Fundamental to the development of early literacy skills and it refers to the ability to segment language into a variety of sound units (syllable, onset, rhyme and phonemes)

Phonemic Awareness

  Asubset of phonological awareness and it refers to the ability to identify, segment, and manipulate phonemes (the smallest unit of sound in a language).

Sensory Integration Dysfunction

Occurs when a child's brain is unable to process and interpret sensory messages coming from a child's own body and his or her environment. It can coexist with other disorders, such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), ADHD, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and it can range from mild to severe.

Fine Motor Development

Refers to a child's ability to use smaller muscles, specifically their hands and fingers, to pick up small objects, hold a spoon, turn pages in a book, or use a crayon.

Gross Motor Development

Refers to a child's ability to use large muscles, such as their upper and lower extemities (arms, legs and trunk) necessary for sitting up, crawling, walking.

Emotional or Social development

Refers to a child's ability to interact with others, for a variety of different purposes including requesting, gaining attention, or sharing an experience.

Hearing Screenings

Conducted using a pure-tone test in order to determine the faintest tone your child can hear using selected pitches (frequencies) from low to high. If a hearing loss is suspected we will refer your child to an audiologist for a thorough hearing evaluation.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a  Speech-Language Pathologist?

A. A speech-language pathologist diagnoses and treats children and adults with a wide variety of speech-language, communication, cognitive, and feeding disorders.


Q. What is a speech and language disorder?

A: A speech or language disorder can affect the way a child speaks, understands or processes information he/she hears. It can impact a child's ability to speak clearly or fluently; reading ability and reading fluency; reading comprehension; writing language; and problem solving skills.


Q. What are some signs of a speech or language disorder in my child?

A. View Asha's developmental speech and language milestones chart as a guideline to help you determine if your child's speech and language skills are developing accordingly.


Q. How often will my child receive speech therapy?

A. Generally, speech therapy is recommended 2-3 times a week for duration of 30 minutes each session. However, frequency may vary depending on the severity of each child's speech and language delay.

Our Children First, Inc.