Speech ~Language~ Feeding


Language is different from Speech

When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she has a language disorder

When a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder.   

Language is made up of socially shared rules that include:

  • What words mean

  • How to make new words

  • How to put words together

Speech is the verbal means of communicating. Speech consists of:

  • Articulation - How speech sounds are made in the mouth using the articulators

  • Voice - Use of the vocal folds and breathing to produce sound

  • Fluency - The rhythm of speech

Pragmatics or Social Navigation

An individual may say words clearly and use long, complex sentences with correct grammar, but still have a communication problem if he or she has not mastered the rules for social language known as pragmatics. 

Pragmatics involves three major communication skills:

  • Using language for different purposes, such as

    • greeting

    • informing

    • requesting

  • Changing language according to the needs of a listener or situation, such as

    • talking differently to a baby than to an adult

    • giving background information to an unfamiliar listener

    • speaking differently in a classroom than on a playground

  • Following rules for conversation and storytelling, such as

    • taking turns in conversation

    • introducing topics of conversation

    • staying on topic

    • rephrasing when misunderstood

    • how to use verbal and nonverbal signs

    • how close to stand to someone when speaking

    • how to use facial expressions and eye contact


Feeding Therapy

Feeding disorders include problems gathering food and preparing to suck, chew, or swallow it. Swallowing disorders, also called dysphagia, can occur at different stages (oral prep, oral, pharyngeal, esophageal stages) in the swallowing process. Children with feeding and swallowing disorders may more commonly be known as "picky eaters." Challenges can being as early as infancy.  Problems may also arise later. There are many reasons for picky eating and exploring what is going on with your child is the first step to finding solutions.  Our lens is integrative and allows us to explore solutions that might in more traditional programs be overlooked.

Picky eating can be a real a problem, and most parents know it, though they may have been told "don't worry, s/he'll grow out of it", "it's a stage", "all kids go through this"...If you feel there is an issue with your child's eating, seek professional help. If you know a picky eater, we are happy to talk with you to offer support in finding solutions that work for your child and family.






What are some signs or symptoms of feeding and swallowing disorders in children?

Children with feeding and swallowing problems have a wide variety of symptoms. Not all signs and symptoms are present in every child, and symptoms vary according to age. 

Signs of a Feeding Disorder or Feeding Difficulties
Infants and toddlers (0-3 years)

  • arching or stiffening of the body during feeding

  • irritability or lack of alertness during feeding

  • refusing food or liquid

  • long feeding times (longer more than 30 minutes)

  • difficulty breast feeding

  • coughing or gagging during meals

  • excessive drooling or food/liquid coming out of the mouth or nose

  • difficulty coordinating breathing with eating and drinking

  • increased stuffiness during meals

  • gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice quality

  • frequent spitting up or vomiting

  • recurring pneumonia or respiratory infections

  • less than normal weight gain or growth

Toddlers and Older Children

  • failure to accept different textures of food

  • resists most fruits

  • resists most vegetables

  • mood swings

  • trouble sleeping

  • social challenges

  • trouble concentrating

  • impulsivity

  • tires easily

  • stomach aches

  • constipation

  • diarrhea

  • bad breath

  • headaches

  • tantrums

  • stunted growth

  • under weight/over weight