You may have heard someone refer to your child's "speech skills" or their "language skills", when talking about their development. While they may sound similar, these are actually quite different areas of development. This post provides a quick, basic summary on the difference between these two areas.
Speech skills: Speech, which is related to how your child talks, can be split into two different areas, articulation and fluency.
Articulation refers to the way children acquire and produce sounds in words, sentences and conversation. If your child is having difficulty with their articulation development you may see things like:
Fluency is the aspect of speech production that involves smoothness, rate and effort. If your child is having difficulty with their fluency development you may see things like:
Language skills: Language can be broken down most simply into two parts: receptive language and expressive language (Note: Today we are just talking about foundational or basic language skills. We'll cover higher-level language skills in a future post.)
Receptive language is the ability to understand what is being said and can include things like following directions or understanding questions. If your child is having difficulty with their receptive language skills, you may see things like:
Expressive language is the ability to use language and includes things like grammar, vocabulary and answering questions. If your child is having difficulty with their expressive language development, you may see things like:
Some children may have trouble with one of these areas of communication (speech or language) or both. Some children may have difficulty with one area of their language development, but not the other (receptive vs. expressive).
Looking out for potential red-flags with your child's development is the best way to combat any difficulties in these communication areas. Identifying areas of weakness and working on them early gives your child the best chance to make progress and catch up to their peers!
If you have questions or concerns about your child's development, contact us at The Speech Space. We offer free screenings, which take approximately 30 minutes, and can help identify potential problems.