Speech and Language

Welcome to speech language! Consider speech language pathologists to be jacks of all trades in the school setting. We work on a large variety of areas with our students such as articulation of speech sounds, language, vocabulary, grammar, pragmatics, writing, language processing, listening, stuttering, and word retrieval. We work with many Gombert students in the speech room and in Gombert classrooms.

What is Speech and Language?

A school-based speech-language pathologist works with children who have problems with speech, language, or both.  While speech and language are related processes, they are different processes.

Speech refers to the physical (motor) act of producing sounds in meaningful combinations by the lips, tongue, teeth, palate, vocal cords, and lungs for communication.  Children who have speech difficulties may have weak lip or tongue muscles, or struggle with coordinating the movements of these structures for making speech (called oral-motor difficulties).  They also may have difficulty pronouncing the sounds of speech, which is called an articulation disorder.  Children who stutter have trouble producing speech in a fluent and coordinated manner.   Also, if a child has a hoarse or nasal sounding voice, he or she is said to have problems in the area of speech.

Language is the understanding and production of the rule-based code we use to communicate with one another.  Language involves combining words into sentences, understanding the meanings of words, and making new words, as well as intonation, facial expression, and other "social" aspects of communication.   
Some areas in which children with language problems may have difficulty include:

  • putting words together in the correct order
  • using correct word forms
  • learning word meanings
  • understanding verbal directions
  • categorizing words
  • associating words
  • "finding" the words they want to use
  • use of language (requesting, answering questions, conversation)

Missy Paoletti, M.H.S., CCC-SLP/L

Courtney Srum, M.S., CCC-SLP