Speech-Language Pathologists

Articulation/Phonology

Articulation is how the student makes the speech sounds. Errors in articulation may include: omission, substitution, distortion, addition, or incorrect sequencing of specific speech sounds. See chart for typical development of specific articulation sounds. If these errors affect the student’s intelligibility or clarity of the student’s speech in the educational environment, the Speech-Language Pathologist should be contacted.

Website: www.quia.com/pages/havemorefun.html – website with online articulation games

Apps:

  • ArtikPixFull
  • Photo Artic Pro
  • Articulation Station
  • Smarty Ears Apps

Phonological processes are patterns in sounds errors. For example, substituting sounds that are produced in the back of the mouth (k, g) for sounds made in the front of the mouth (t,d). Cluster reduction (“poon” for spoon) and syllable deletion (“elphant” for elephant) are other examples where the student consistently omits part of the word. For the complete list of phonological processes and the age of which these processes are typically gone, please visit www.asha.org. Please contact the Speech-Language Pathologist with concerns related to phonological processes.

Apps:

  • Phono Processes – Virutal Speech Center
  • Minimal Pair Pack – Therapy Box Limited
  • PhonoPix – Expressive Solutions LLC

Visit www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/childsandl.html for more information regarding articulation and phonological processes.

Fluency

Fluency is the smooth flow of speech. Most children will develop a smooth speaking pattern. However, the rhythm or flow of speech can be impaired by pauses, interjections, hesitations, repetitions of sounds, words, parts of words, or phrases, or blocks or prolongations of speech. Sometimes, physical symptoms, such as blinking or facial grimaces may accompany this behavior.

There are many reasons a child’s speech may be “bumpy:”

  • A child may be nervous or excited about speaking to new people.
  • A child may repeat words or parts of words to “stall” while he/she thinks of a word in English, or translates from his/her first language.
  • A child may be going through a normal period of “developmental disfluency,” which affects 25% of young children. This often happens when a child’s language is blossoming and the brain is working faster than the mouth can say the words.
  • Rarely, the child’s difficulty speaking significantly interferes with the child’s ability and/or desire to speak. When the child’s first language is not English, this occurs in the child’s native language as well as in English. In these cases, the child may have a speech fluency problem that requires attention from the Speech-Language Pathologist.

Some children do have disfluent speaking patterns that persist. In these cases, a Speech-Language Pathologist should be contacted. If fluency continues to develop abnormally, a child may be developing a problem with Stuttering.

Websites for more info:

Games

Language

There are three main areas of language including receptive language, expressive language, and pragmatic language.

Receptive language refers to how well one understands spoken language. Receptive language disorders impact a student’s ability understand vocabulary, concepts, and directions. Following directions may difficult for these students. Students may also have difficulty comprehending grade level material. They may need assistance with answering simple who, what, and where questions or more advanced listening comprehension skills such as identifying main ideas, details, comparing, and inferring meaning from auditory information.

Expressive Language is the way in which one formulates and produces verbal communication. Expressive language disorders impact a student’s ability to effectively and efficiently express ideas verbally. Difficulties may include poorly constructed sentence structure with grammatical errors, vague or immature vocabulary use, and narratives that lack organization and detail.

Pragmatic language is the social function of spoken communication. It encompasses the diverse span of reasons to communicate such as requesting, commenting, questioning, informing, and greeting. Pragmatic language plays a pivotal role in establishing friendships, creating positive peer relationships, and effectively solving problems. In addition to verbal social communication, pragmatic language also encompasses turn taking, manners, humor and nonverbal communication such as facial expressions and eye contact. Students with pragmatic language deficits may have difficulty with following social norms and initiating, maintaining, and ending conversations appropriately.

Voice

Common reasons to refer a student for speech and language services are listed below by grade level.

  • Kindergarten
    • Unintelligible (can’t understand what he/she is saying)
    • Articulation errors on: vowels, p, b, m, n, h, w, k, g, t, d, j, f, “ing”
    • Phonological processes
    • Difficulty following 2 step directions, difficulty understanding and retelling a basic story
  • First Grade
    • Articulation errors including v, l, th, l-blends
    • Difficult following 2-3 step directions, answering basic wh- questions, basic grammar
  • Second Grade
    • Articulation errors on s, z, sh, ch, dg, th, s-blends
    • Difficulty following 3-4 step directions
    • Complex sentence structure, irregular plurals, irregular verbs
  • Third through Fifth Grade
    • Any articulation errors including r and vocalic r (er, air, are, or, ur, ear)
    • Difficulty identifying causes, effects, and solutions of problems
    • Difficulty expressing opinions
    • Difficulty with understanding of figurative language (metaphors, multiple meaning words, idioms, humor)

**Across grades: voice, fluency, and pragmatics (social language, prosody, intonation, scripts) not appropriate for age and gender which impact the student’s ability to benefit from instruction or participation in social situations

General Resources

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