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Speech, Language and Literacy

Important skills for communication and learning.

Speech and language are both part of communication. Speech involves production of all the speech sounds, voice quality and intonation. Language is a system we use to get our message across. This can be sign language, verbal language or written language. Literacy involves both reading and spelling.

Some children have difficulties with the correct pronunciation of certain speech sounds. All children go through different processes when they acquire speech sounds. For example, a two year old child may say “tite” instead of “kite” and this is age appropriate. However if a five year old child makes this sound substitution, this is not age appropriate and this child will benefit from speech therapy.

Other children pronounce all the speech sounds correctly, but they have difficulties with aspects of language. This can be receptive language (understanding) or expressive language (formulation).

Some children have difficulties with following instructions, especially when there are several instructions in one sentence. Other children have difficulties with prepositions such as, in, over, in between, next to.

Expressive language includes vocabulary knowledge, using correct word structures and sentence structures.

Speech language therapists can help with all of the above skills. Furthermore, speech language therapists can help children for whom reading and spelling is challenging.

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