Language is different from speech:

The communication is a process in which the ideas in one’s mind is transferred to the other, either verbally or non- verbally. The Speech Language Pathologist along with other professionals works to remove obstructions in the flow of messages.  This helps in the successful transfer of messages. Speech and language are two important component of communication.

Language is used to communicate our feelings, thoughts and needs with other people. Language can be either communicated verbally or non verbally. In verbal communication we use vocal symbols.

The following are the components of language:

  1. Form of Language:

    Phonology is the study of phonemes that govern the sound combinations.

    Morphology is the study of phomes that governs the structure of words and the construction of word forms.

    Syntax refers to the system governing the order and combination of words to form sentences, and the relationships among the features within a sentence.

  2. Content  Language:

    Semantics is basically a system that governs the meanings of words and sentences.

  3. Use of Language:

    Pragmatics is the system that combines the above language features in functional as well as in socially appropriate communication.

Language Disorder

When a person has difficulty in understanding receptive languages, sharing thoughts, ideas and emotions (expressive languages) completely, then he or she is going through a disorder which is known as the language disorder.

Language disorders are mainly three types:

  1. Receptive language problems.
  2. Expressive language problems.
  3. Mixed (receptive & expressive) language problems.

Symptoms of Language Disorders

  • The child has limited vocabulary compared to other child of the same age.
  • Facing difficulty in learning new vocabulary.
  • Unable to remember key words and getting confused with verb tenses.
  • Repetition of certain phrases while talking.
  • Feeling frustrated when unable to communicate thoughts and idea.
  • Verbal communication seems to be limited or often but able to understand what others communicate.
  • Pronunciation of words and sounds possible but fails to construct meaningful sentences.
  • Usage of limited variety of sentence structure when communicating.


Speech is the verbal way of communication which consist of the following components:

  1. Articulation: It refers to production of speech sounds. (eg. The children must  learn how to say “/r/” sound instead of” /l/”)
  2. Voice: It is the sound that is produced by vocal fold.
  3. Fluency:  It refers to the smoothness or clarity while speaking.

Symptoms of Speech Disorders

Speech disorder refers to the situation in which a person is not able to produce speech sounds correctly or easily and has problems with his or her voice.

  1. Disfluency (stuttering is the most common type of disfluency):
    • Repetition of sounds, words, or parts of words or phrases after the child attains the age of four.
    • Interjecting extra sounds or words like (I am ...uh...uh…hungry).
    • Usage of longer words.
    • Pausing in-between a sentence or words, often with the lips together.
    • Tension in the voice or sounds.
  2. Articulation disorder:
    • Distortion of sounds.
    • Sounds (most often consonants) will be substituted, left off, added, or changed.
    • Family members only able to understand due to errors in communication.
  3. Voice disorders:
    • A throaty harshness in voice.
    • Voice break in or out.
    • A sudden change in the pitch of the voice.
    • Having either too loud or too soft voice.
    • Speech might sound odd due to hyper nasality or hypo nasality.

Communication Disorder:

When the speech and language of a person is affected it directly gives rise to communication disorder.  In other words a communication disorder is any disorder that affects an individual to apply language and speech to engage in discourse effectively with others.

The types of communication disorder are:

  • Developmental articulation disorder
  • Developmental expressive language disorder
  • Developmental receptive language disorder
  • Mixed receptive-expressive language disorder
  • Phonological disorders
  • Stuttering



Hearing and Understanding


Birth–3 Months

  • Startles to loud sounds
  • Quietens or smiles when spoken to
  • Seems to recognize your voice and quietens if crying
  • Increases or decreases sucking behaviour in response to sound

Birth–3 Months

  • Makes pleasure sounds (cooing, gooing)
  • Cries differently for different needs
  • Smiles when sees you

4–6 Months

  • Moves eyes in direction of sounds
  • Responds to changes in tone of your voice
  • Notices toys that make sounds
  • Pays attention to music

4–6 Months

  • Babbling sounds more speech-like with many different sounds, including p, b and m
  • Chuckles and laughs
  • Vocalizes excitement and displeasure
  • Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you

7 Months–1 Year

  • Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
  • Turns and looks in direction of sounds
  • Listens when spoken to
  • Recognizes words for common items like "cup", "shoe", "book", or "juice"
  • Begins to respond to requests (e.g. "Come here" or "Want more?")

7 Months–1 Year

  • Babbling has both long and short utterances such as "tata upup bibibibi"
  • Uses speech or noncrying sounds to get and keep attention
  • Uses gestures to communicate (waving, holding arms to be picked up)
  • Imitates different speech sounds
  • Has one or two words (hi, dog, dada, mama) around 1st birthday,

1-2 years

  • Points to a few body parts when asked.
  • Follows simple commands and understands simple questions ("Roll the ball," "Kiss the baby," "Where's your shoe?").
  • Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes.
  • Points to pictures in a book when named.

1-2 years

  • Says more words every month.
  • Uses some one- or two- word questions ("Where kitty?" "Go bye-bye?" "What's that?").
  • Puts two words together ("more cookie," "no juice," "mommy book").
  • Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words.

2-3 Years

  • Understands differences in meaning ("go-stop," "in-on," "big-little," "up-down").
  • Follows two requests ("Get the book and put it on the table").
  • Listens to and enjoys hearing stories for longer periods of time

2-3 Years

  • Has a word for almost everything.
  • Uses two- or three- words to talk about and ask for things.
  • Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n sounds.
  • Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time.
  • Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them.
  • Asks why?
  • May stutter on words or sounds

3-4 Years

  • Hears you when you call from another room.
  • Hears television or radio at the same loudness level as other family members.
  • Understands words for some colors, like red, blue, and green
  • Understands words for some shapes, like circle and square
  • Understands words for family, like brother, grandmother, and aunt

3-4 Years

  • Talks about activities at school or at friends' homes.
  • Talks about what happened during the day. Uses about 4 sentences at a time.
  • People outside of the family usually understand child's speech.
  • Answers simple "who?", "what?", and "where?" questions.
  • Asks when and how questions.
  • Says rhyming words, like hat-cat
  • Uses pronouns, like I, you, me, we, and they
  • Uses some plural words, like toys, birds, and buses
  • Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words.
  • Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words.

4-5 Years

  • Understands words for order, like first, next, and last.
  • Understands words for time, like yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
  • Follows longer directions, like "Put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, and then pick out a book."
  • Follows classroom directions, like "Draw a circle on your paper around something you eat."
  • Hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school.

4-5 Years

  • Says all speech sounds in words. May make mistakes on sounds that are harder to say, like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, th.
  • Responds to "What did you say?"
  • Talks without repeating sounds or words most of the time.
  • Names letters and numbers.
  • Uses sentences that have more than 1 action word, likejump, play, and get. May make some mistakes, like "Zach got 2 video games, but I got one."
  • Tells a short story.
  • Keeps a conversation going.
  • Talks in different ways depending on the listener and place. May use short sentences with younger children or talk louder outside than inside.


If a person is said to have any of the above mentioned problem or disorder it is necessary to consult a Speech Language Pathologist and get diagnosed.