The Arizona Literacy and Learning Center provides speech/language assessment and therapy in the areas of speech and language to children ages three through twenty one years of age. Children may be assessed and treated for speech impairments, language impairments, or speech/language impairments. Impairments in speech and/or language can range from mild to severe. At the Arizona Literacy and Learning Center, qualified Speech/Language Pathologists provide assessment, to determine whether a disorder is present, the severity of the disorder, and the necessary treatment.
What is “language” and “speech” and how are they different?
Although “speech” and “language” are distinctly different from each other, these differences are often confused or misunderstood.
The term “language” refers to how we combine words and phrases to form grammatically correct sentences (for example, “the boy is eating” instead of “the boy eating is”), how we change word endings to signify differences in verb tense and pronouns (for example, “I watch” vs “He watches” and “I watch” vs “I watched”), how we use vocabulary, and how we vary language depending upon social situations. Children with language disorders may have difficulty in one or more of these areas, and these difficulties may affect their comprehension ( understanding of language), their language production (expression of thoughts, ideas or feelings), or both. Language disorders treated at the Arizona Literacy and Learning Center include Specific Language Impairment, Receptive Language Disorder, Expressive Language Disorder, Mixed Receptive/Expressive Language Disorder, and Language Based Learning Disabilities. A more in-depth description of each of these disorders is available on this website.
“Speech” consists of the actual act of producing speech sounds smoothly and accurately with clear voice. A speech disorder is diagnosed when a person has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or smoothly or has trouble producing clear speech with his or her voice. Speech disorders treated at the Arizona Literacy and Learning Center include Articulation Disorder, Phonological Disorder, Apraxia of Speech, Dysarthria, and Stuttering. A more in-depth description of each of these disorders is available on this website.
Why is it important to treat speech and language impairments?
Speech and language impairments have been linked to social isolation and withdrawal, poor academic performance, social problems, and later learning disabilities. Research has indicated that there is a dramatic link between the development of spoken language and written language in children. Ongoing research has shown a strong link between oral language skills and reading/other academic skills. Improving oral language can provide a stronger foundation for later literacy and academic success. In addition, early treatment of speech and/or language disorders can decrease the likelihood of social isolation and withdrawal.