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Frequently Asked Questions
We help families
Treatment from age 2
Rule in/out problems
Reduce family stress
Improve school performance
Better quality of life
Clinical Reference Guide:
What We Diagnose, How We Diagnose and Treatment Options
Disorder (ADHD) in Adults
Disorder (ADHD) in Children
Autism and Pervasive Developmental
EEG and Evoked Potentials Assessment (DEEP)
for High Achievers
Speech and Language Disorders
Speech and Language Disorders
What are speech and language disorders?
All children seem slow in the early stages of learning language, but
some children continue to have problems.
As a parent, you may have become concerned about your child's speech
and language development. Your child may be learning to speak later
than you expected. Or, your child's speech may be unclear. You may notice
that your child needs you to repeat directions before completing a task
The earlier your child is diagnosed the better. Speech therapy is available
even for infants. Only a specialist in the evaluation of speech/language
disorders can accurately tell which children will require specific therapies.
You should not "wait and see" if a problem goes away or continues.
You may miss many months of valuable therapy. All children suspected
of having a speech/language problem must have hearing tests.
What is the difference between a disorder
and a delay?
Speech and language disorders describe children whose speech and language
is developing abnormally. This is the most common developmental problem
in preschool children.
A speech or language delay describes a child whose skills are developing,
but at a slower rate than normal. A speech problem can be mild, moderate,
A speech or language problem affects your child's emotional and social
interaction with your family, among friends, and in school. Delays and
disorders may precede future problems in intellectual development and
success in school. You and your doctor should carefully watch your child's
progress into the school-aged years.
What are language disorders?
Language is a system of verbal, written, or gestured symbols that are
used to communicate. Language has several parts that develop at the
same time. Language is divided into content, form, and use.
or semantics, refers to the meaning of the message.
- Form includes
grammar and syntax. Grammar and syntax refer to rules that define
the structure and organization of words to form sentences.
- Use refers
to the use of language both verbal and nonverbal.
Receptive and expressive language
- A receptive
language disorder means that you have difficulty understanding the
content, form, or use of language.
- An expressive
language disorder means you have trouble using content, form, or use
of language when trying to convey a message.
What are speech disorders?
Speech is the actual sound of spoken language. Speech is divided into
three parts: articulation and phonology, voice, and fluency.
is making sounds. Children who have articulation problems will probably
substitute, leave out, or distort normal speech sounds at inappropriate
ages. For example, it is not unusual for 3 year olds to substitute
the "f" sound for "th" in their speech; "I
am firsty (thirsty)." These errors should not, however, be present
in the speech of a child over 5.
is the sound system of a language and the rules of sound sequences
that make up words. A phonological disorder is failing to grow out
of patterns such as babbling or developing inappropriate sound patterns.
- Voice disorders
are when there is an abnormal voice quality, pitch, or loudness that
may result from an abnormal larynx (voice box) or breathing pathway.
It may be caused by misuse or abuse of the voice box (for example,
disorders are problems with rate and rhythm of the flow of speech,
such as stuttering and stammering
What is considered normal speech development?
These milestones are a guide to help you and your doctor decide if your
child needs speech and language testing.
Milestones for Normal Speech
2 to 3 months Differentiated
cry; responsive cooing
3 to 4 months Random
5 to 6 months Rhythmic
6 to 11 months Imitative babbling
12 months 1
to 2 words
18 months 5
to 20 words
24 months 2-word
sentences, increasing vocabulary size
During the first 12 to 18 months, a baby learns social skills, how to
make sounds, and how to understand what you are saying. Your baby learns
that his own behavior (smiling, making sounds) has a powerful effect
upon the behavior of others.
At 18 to 24 months, children frequently have a vocabulary spurt from
5 to 10 words to more than 50 words. Children start understanding language
a lot more when they are about 2 or 3 years old. Children understand
more language than they can express during their early years.
The following are problems to be concerned about. Call Bright Minds
Institute if your child:
- Does not understand his name, "no,"
and a few words or simple commands by age 1 year.
- Is not saying words by 14 to 16 months of
- Cannot answer basic "wh" questions
(what, where, who) by age 3 years.
- Has difficulty being understood by people
outside the family after age 3.
- Has any unusual facial, vocal, or breathing
behaviors associated with speech.
- Has noticeable hesitations or repetitions
in speech past age 5 years.
- Is chronically hoarse without having a cold.
- Cannot tell a simple sequential story by
- Cannot tell a more involved story by age
- Shows limited development of vocabulary.
- Shows poor school performance.
- Demonstrates a significant gap between nonverbal
and verbal abilities.