Speech-language therapy with Mrs. Hemmes!

Speech/Language Services

Many different areas are targeted and covered during speech/language therapy. Below is a brief summary of each of the different areas.


“Articulation” is the production of speech sounds. A child with an articulation disorder is often more difficult to understand, because they produce sounds incorrectly. The three basic types of articulation problems are substitutions (fink for think), omissions (uh for up), and distortions (slushy “s” sound). Speech sounds are developmental, but some people, without the help of a speech therapist, may not outgrow their speech difficulties. To be eligible for speech therapy, a child must exhibit multiple misarticulations beyond the age at which 90% of the population has achieved mastery.

Receptive/Expressive Language Impairments

A receptive language impairment is characterized by difficulty understanding language, and an expressive language impairment is characterized by difficulty expressing language. A child is considered to have a receptive and/or expressive impairment if he/she uses one or more of the following patterns that fall below or are different from others at the same age.

  • Morphology - The child’s use of the smallest units of meaning in language. Examples would be the use of verb tenses, plurals, etc.
  • Semantics - The ability to comprehend meaning from words.
  • Syntax - The ability to apply grammatical rules in language. Examples would be negation, interrogatives, etc.
  • Pragmatics - These are the overall functional and appropriate communication skills that include the abilities to reason, listen, take turns, problem solve, and supply and request information. The child should be able to attain conversational skills appropriate for his/her age.


Fluent speech is smooth and unhesitant. A “dysfluency” is any break in fluent speech. Everyone has normal dysfluencies in speech from time to time. However, stuttering is speech that has a high rate of dysfluencies. A child is eligible for speech services if he/she exhibits moments of stuttering on approximately 10% or more of the words spoken.

The following is a list of types of dysfluencies:

· Part word repetition - “ba-ba-baby”

· Whole word repetition - “my-my-my”

· Prolongation - “ca-a-a-at”

· Struggle behaviors - eye blinking, grimaces


Everyone has a different and unique voice. Voice can become a problem due to variations in one or more of the following areas:

  • Pitch - voice is too high or too low
  • Loudness - voice is too loud or too soft
  • Quality - voice quality is hoarse, breathy, or nasal

The best examples of voice abnormalities would be extreme hoarseness, nasal quality, or vocal abuse through excessive coughing or yelling.

**A doctor’s prescription must be obtained before voice therapy may begin.

If you have any questions about speech/language services, please feel free to contact me at any time! You can email me at khemmes@pitman.k12.nj.us or call me at (856) 589-2888, extension 6607.