Speech and Language Services

This area has been created to provide parents with general information on common speech and language disorders, developemental norms for articulation, and links to helpful communication websites.

What types of problems are addressed through the speech and language program?

A school speech pathologists works with disorders of articulation, voice, verbal fluency, and language which negatively impact a student in his/her classroom setting.

Articulation: Speech problem in which sounds are distorted, omitted, or substituted for other sounds. These misarticulations may reduce the intelligibility of the spoken message.

Voice Problems: Speech problem in which the person's voice sounds rough, hoarse, or nasal.

Fluency: Speech problem in which the person frequently stutters when speaking.

Language: Language is different from speech. Language is a code made up of a group of rules that include:

  • What words mean
  • How to make new words (friend, friendly, unfriendly)
  • How to combine words together
  • What word combinations are best in what situations ("Would you mind moving your foot?" could quickly change to "Get off my foot, please!" if the first request got no results). This is also referred to as "pragmatics."  When a person cannot understand the language code, then there is a receptive problem.

If a person does not know enough language rules to share thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely, then there is an expressive problem. One problem can exist without the other, but often they occur together in both children and adults.

Information taken from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website.

Speech Sound Development

How does speech develop? Research has shown that speech is acquired in stages, and that the majority of children develop the use of certain sounds at approximately the same age. Dr. Irene Poole's research provides us with the following scale, which has been substantiated by other investigators.

3.5 years....p, b, m, w, wh

4.5 years....d, t, n, g, k, ng, y, f

6 years....j, sh, l, v

7 years....s, z, r, ch, er, th

This table indicates at what age most children will have developed these sounds. However, because a particular sound is not evident at the noted age, it does not necessarily mean the child has a problem. The normal rate of development is highly variable with some children mastering all their sounds before their fourth birthday and others not mastering all their sounds until around their seventh birthday.

Many blends (dr, cl, sn, st, sk, ect.) in the English language are not produced accurately until seven or eight years of age.

Helpful Sites

Information on normal development as well as various disorders of speech and language. Printable information packets. Information on finding licensed professionals.

Excellent web resource for fluency information

Stuttering Foundation of America homepage including conferences, stuttering websites, publications and services.

Our Speech and Language Pathologist

FCPS Speech and Language Services