• Language – Language is used to express thoughts, ideas and feelings to others and to understand them in return.  Language is rule-based and relies on agreement between people.  These rules include understanding of word meaning(s), ways to modify words to add variation to the meaning, a norm for ordering words in phrases and sentences and how to use word combinations to achieve the best result based on the context/situation (social language).  Although children develop language at variable rates, it is important that language follows a continual progression (click here for information about typical communication milestones in the early years of development).  A problem with understanding and use of language may indicate that there is a language disorder.

 

  • Speech – The spoken form of language. Difficulties with speech production in children can interfere with their ability to make themselves understood. This can include speech sound disorders (e.g., articulation disorder, phonological disorder). Delays/disorders of speech can impact social/emotional development, literacy skills, and overall quality of life.

 

  • Oral Feeding and Swallowing – The ability to take in nutrition by sucking, biting, chewing and ultimately swallowing liquids and solids safely and efficiently, as is developmentally appropriate. Any disturbance to the process from birth onward may indicate a need for further assessment/ intervention to address the problem.