How children develop speech and language skills is a strong predictor of reading and school success. There is a strong connection between the correct development of speech and language skills and learning to read in school. Children who struggle to develop age-appropriate speech and language skills as toddlers and preschoolers often have difficulty becoming competent readers. It is important to recognize that although somewhat related, there are distinct differences between speech disorders and language disorders.
EARLY-CHILDHOOD SPEECH DISORDERS
A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds. Speech disorders include articulation disorders, fluency disorders, and resonance or voice disorders. Articulation disorders result in difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly to the point that listeners can't understand what's being said. Fluency disorders cause problems such as stuttering in which the flow of speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages, partial-word repetitions ("b-b-boy"), or prolonging sounds and syllables (sssssnake). Resonance or voice disorders can result in problems with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voice that distract listeners from what's being said. These types of disorders may also cause pain or discomfort for a child when speaking.
LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION
A language disorder refers to a problem understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas. Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive. Receptive disorders make understanding and/or processing language difficult. Expressive disorders result in difficulty putting words together, a limited vocabulary, or the inability to use language in a socially appropriate way. Another language disorder is known as cognitive-communication disorder and causes difficulty with communication skills that involve memory, attention, perception, organization, regulation, and problem-solving.
When it comes to speech and language disorders, early diagnosis and intervention is extremely important. It is almost always more effective to address developmental delays or differences early in a child’s development instead of waiting until they become more severe or interfere with peer relationships and self- esteem.
A lower school parent recounts, "When my son was three, he was extremely limited in the amount of words he could say correctly. Because he was on the cusp of the lowest threshold of language development, we wanted to make sure he had the tools to work through communication strategies he could tackle at his age. That's when we found Mrs. Jordan at the MPCS preschool." As development is ongoing and the communication and academic demands continue to increase in the years to come, addressing any issues early can lay the groundwork for a child’s future academic and social success.
SPEECH PATHOLOGY IN SCHOOL
Mount Paran Christian School’s speech language pathologist, Neysa Jordan, M.Ed. CCC-SLP, has served preschool and lower school children at MPCS for six years. Her mission is to diagnose speech and language problems and to teach specific skills and strategies that assist children on becoming independent and competent communicators. Early testing and intervention along with parental involvement is critical to the success of a child's progress in speech or language therapy. "My son worked with Mrs. Jordan on his speech delay to the point of not needing her help anymore. Today he is thriving in school. We are eternally grateful that she enabled him to catch up to his peers!"
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: https://www.asha.org/
The Stuttering Foundation: https://www.stutteringhelp.org/
Voice Disorders: https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/voice/
Talking Child Development Charts and Helpful Links: http://www.talkingchild.com/toysonline.aspx
Directed Studies at MPCS: Directed Studies Program
MPCS' on-staff Speech Pathologist, Neysa Jordan (M.Ed. CCC-SLP) has worked in her profession in elementary schools for more than 20 years. She provides this additional service and individualized support for young students at Mount Paran Christian School.
For more than 40 years, MPCS has provided students who have speech delays or mild learning differences a plan for success in the classroom.
To learn more about the exceptional learning programs at MPCS, please click here.