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Glossary

Useful terminology

 

Apraxia

Apraxia is a neurogenic impairment involving planning, executing and sequencing motor movements.

  • Verbal apraxia affects the programming of the articulators and rapid sequences of muscle movements for speech sounds (often associated with hypotonia and sensory integration disorder).
  •  Oral apraxia involves non speech movements (e.g., blowing, puckering, licking food from the lips).
  • Motor apraxia involves the programming of hand or whole body movement. Oral Apraxia is a disorder where the child, who typically is a "late talker" is unable to coordinate and/or initiate movement of their jaw, lips and tongue (articulators) on command.
  • A child with Oral Apraxiawill have difficulty doing the followingoral tasks on command:
  • smile
  • kiss or make a kiss face?
  • stick out his/her tongue?
  • try to touch his/her tongue to his/her nose
  • make raspberries?
  • lick peanut butter off his/her upper, side, or lower lip?
  • imitate making a funny face?
  • blow out candles or blow bubbles? (a typically-developing ten-month old can do this)
  • bite his/her lower lip?
  • show various emotions in facial expressions?

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Aspergers Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by difficulty with social interactions, preference for sameness and routine, and narrowly focused interests or repetitive behaviors. Individuals with Asperger's Disorder have average or above-average intelligence and normal language development. Although they often have exceptionally rich vocabularies, individuals with Asperger's Syndrome may have an overly literal understanding of language, and their speech patterns may be unusual. People with Asperger's Syndrome also have difficulty interpreting nonverbal communication, such as gestures and facial expressions. 

Many individuals with Asperger's Disorder have a strong preoccupation with a particular subject matter and may exhibit considerable knowledge, skill, and/or talent in a specific area. Some individuals are highly sensitive to sounds, odors, or other sensory input. Asperger's Disorder is considered to be one of the Autistic Spectrum Disorders. It is diagnosed on the basis of a pattern of behaviors and is more common in boys than girls. 

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Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that occurs in academic, occupational, or social settings. Problems with attention include making careless mistakes, failing to complete tasks, problems staying organized and keeping track of things, becoming easily distracted, etc.

Problems with hyperactivity can include excessive fidgetiness and squirminess, running or climbing when it is not appropriate, excessive talking, and being constantly on the go. Impulsivity can show up as impatience, difficulty awaiting one's turn, blurting out answers, and frequent interrupting. Although many individuals with ADHD display both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms, some individuals show symptoms from one group but not the other.  

This disorder interferes with a person’s ability to function on a daily basis at work, school and home.  To be diagnosed properly, symptoms must be consistently observed for six months or longer and be present in multiple settings. Attention deficit disorder may be divided into three sub-categories: a predominately inattentive type, a predominantly hyperactive or impulsive type, and a combined type with both decreased attention and hyperactivity. ADD or ADHD often occur in conjunction with other conditions such as depression, anxiety, or learning disabilities.

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Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory processing is a term used to describe what happens when your brain recognizes and interprets the sounds around you. Humans hear when energy that we recognize as sound travels through the ear and is changed into electrical information that can be interpreted by the brain. The "disorder" part of auditory processing disorder means that something is adversely affecting the processing or interpretation of the information.

Children with APD often do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even though the sounds themselves are loud and clear. For example, the request "Tell me how a chair and a couch are alike" may sound to a child with APD like "Tell me how a couch and a chair are alike." It can even be understood by the child as "Tell me how a cow and a hair are alike." These kinds of problems are more likely to occur when a person with APD is in a noisy environment or when he or she is listening to complex information. APD is also referred to as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). Other common names are auditory perception problem, auditory comprehension deficit, central auditory dysfunction, central deafness, and so-called "word deafness."

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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Recent studies suggest that as many as 1 in every 150 babies will develop some degree of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by the age of three.  Different people with autism can have very different symptoms. Individuals with ASD generally exhibit difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interaction, behavior, and leisure or play activities. Health care providers think of autism as a “spectrum” disorder, a group of disorders with similar features.  One person may have mild symptoms, while another may have serious symptoms.  But they both have an autism spectrum disorder.  ASD includes autistic disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), and Asperger’s Syndrome. 

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Cognitive Communication Disorder

Cognitive communication disorder is a broad term that's used to describe a wide range of specific communication problems that can result from damage to regions of the brain that control your ability to think (cognition). This damage can impair your ability to transform thoughts into meaningful speech, writing, or gestures. Causes of cognitive communication problems may include:

  • Strokes
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Aging
  • Tumors
  • Disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Birth defects
  • Certain medications
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

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Dysarthria

Speech that is characteristically slurred, slow, and difficult to produce (difficult to understand). The person with dysarthria may also have problems controlling the pitch, loudness, rhythm, and voice qualities of their speech. Dysarthria is a disorder caused by paralysis, weakness, or inability to coordinate the muscles of the mouth. . Dysarthria is a neuromuscular impairment that can affect children and adults and can be caused by a stroke, brain injury, or disease.

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Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a life-long language processing disorder that specifically impairs development of oral and written language skills. Children and adults with dyslexia can be highly intelligent; however they have a neurological disorder that causes the brain to process and interpret information differently.

These individuals typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although the disorder varies from person to person, common characteristics among people with dyslexia are difficulty with spelling, phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), and/or rapid visual-verbal responding. In adults, dyslexia usually occurs after a brain injury or in the context of dementia. It can also be inherited in some families, and recent studies have identified a number of genes that may predispose an individual to developing dyslexia. 

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Dyspraxia

Dyspraxia is a motor planning disorder in which a person has difficulty with movement and coordination of movement.  It is also known as a “motor learning disability” . Dyspraxia may be verbal, oral, or both, and may be developmental or acquired.

  • Verbal dyspraxia is the loss of ability to consistently position the articulators (face, tongue, lips, jaw) for speech sound production and for sequencing those sounds into syllables and words. Children who do not reach developmental speech milestones and are unable to produce consonant sounds may be dyspraxic.
  • Oral dyspraxia affects one's ability to move the muscles of the mouth on command for non-speech purposes, such as coughing, swallowing, wiggling the tongue, or blowing a kiss.
  • Developmental Dyspraxia occurs in children and is present from birth.
  • Acquired Dyspraxia occurs as a result of brain damage caused by conditions such as stroke, head injury, brain tumor, toxin, or infection. 

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Fluency Disorder

Fluency is the flow or rate of speech production. A Fluency disorder is an involuntary disruption in the flow of speech beyond what is considered typical. The type and frequency of an individual’s dysfluency is characterized by a number of subjective and objective behaviors. A Fluency disorder is commonly referred to as Stuttering.

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Language Disorders

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. A stroke can result in aphasia, or a language disorder.

Language is a code used to communicate ideas and express wants and needs. Speaking, reading, writing, and gesture systems such as sign language are all forms of language. A language disorder is an impairment of comprehension or use of the form of language, including the sound system and word order, the meaning of language, including vocabulary, or the function of language in communication, including social interaction and appropriateness. Individuals whose language ability is not at the level expected for their age, cognitive ability, or level of language exposure may have a language delay or disorder.

  • Receptive language

The ability to understand spoken language, including comprehension of age-appropriate vocabulary, word meanings, word relationships, and syntactical and grammatical structures is known as receptive language. Children learn language by listening to the spoken language around them and practicing what they hear. They discover the rules of the language code over time. Problems in understanding language will affect almost every aspect of school, including following directions, learning vocabulary, understanding instructions, and reading comprehension.

  • Expressive or oral language
    • People with expressive language disorders may understand what is said to them or written in passages, but they have substantial difficulty communicating. They have difficulty with language processing and the connection between words and ideas they represent. Some people may also have problems with pronunciation of words.
  • Mixed receptive-expressive language disorder
    • Children with impairment in both the understanding and the expression of language have a mixed receptive-expressive language disorder. Three to five percent of all children have a receptive, expressive, or mixed language disorder. 
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Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention. Learning disabilities interfere with a person’s ability to process and interpret information. They are characterized by a discrepancy between a person’s ability level and his or her performance in academic or functional areas. Learning disabilities occur in individuals who have at least average intelligence and have difficulty learning in spite of quality instruction. These disabilities may be hereditary and are caused by a difference in brain structure. While individuals with learning disabilities cannot be cured, they can be taught compensatory strategies. Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, the disorders are usually not recognized until the child reaches school age. Research shows that 8 to 10 percent of American children under 18 years of age have some type of learning disability.

Learning disabilities may be broken into three categories: language-based learning disabilities, non-verbal learning disabilities, and difficulties with executive functioning.

  • Language-based learning disabilities (LLD) are the most common subgroup, and may lead to problems in all academic areas, including listening, reading, writing, spelling, and math. These disabilities are related to problems with language processing and production, and do not indicate impaired intelligence. Language-based learning disabilities create a gap between a person's true capacity and his or her performance on language-based tasks.Individuals with LLD may have problems with organization, storage (memory), and retrieval of novel or learned information. Other difficulties may include understanding and answering questions, following complex directions, using and understanding grammar, using and understanding figurative language, clarifying miscommunications, and maintaining a conversational topic. These individuals may have a small vocabulary, use short, common, or nonspecific words (thing, stuff), exhibit weak association and categorization skills, and demonstrate weak narrative skills. Expressive language is often simple and immature without much elaboration. Sometimes, attention, motor, or emotional problems exist in conjunction with a learning disability. Dyslexia is one language-based learning disability that affects the development of reading, spelling, and written language skills.
  • Non-verbal learning disability (NLD) is a learning disability that originates in the right hemisphere of the brain, causing problems in motor skills, visual-spatial-organizational skills, and social skills. Weaknesses may include lack of motor coordination and balance, poor visual memory, difficulty with spatial relationships and spatial perception, problems understanding nonverbal social cues such as intonation and facial expression, and difficulty adjusting to transitions. Academically, weaknesses may be seen in mathematical calculation and reasoning, reading comprehension, handwriting, and the ability to learn new information. Individuals with NLD may have strong verbal skills, excellent auditory memory skills, early speech and language development, increased attention to detail, and average or above average intelligence.
  • Executive Functioning is a term used describes problems associated with Learning Disabilities and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It refers to problems with attention, memory, impulse control, organization, planning, and hierarchical thinking. However, it does not fit neatly into the aptitude/achievement discrepancy model used by many school systems to diagnose learning disabilities. Individuals use executive functioning skills to learn from past experiences, set goals, anticipate problems, evaluate actions and delay immediate gratification. Executive functions are critical to playing, organizing and carrying out complex human behavior over long periods of time. One specific component of executive functioning is "working memory," the ability to hold information in one's mind while processing and manipulating it. This function is necessary for something as straightforward as performing mental math computations or as complex as listening to a college lecture, organizing the information and relating it to previously acquired knowledge. Younger children rely on these abilities to follow a sequence of instructions: "Brush your teeth, get dressed and come downstairs for breakfast."

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Myofunctional Disorders

Oral Myofunctional Disorders (OMD), also known as tongue thrusting, is exhibited when the tongue moves forward in an exaggerated way during speech and/or swallowing. The tongue may lie too far forward during rest or may protrude between the upper and lower teeth during speech and swallowing, and at rest.
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Oral-Motor Disorder

An oral-motor disorder exists when a person has difficulty using the lips, tongue, jaw, cheeks, or soft palate. Decreased muscle strength, control, range of motion, and coordination may create problems with eating, drinking, speaking, swallowing, or facial expression. In an oral-motor examination, the speech-language pathologist assesses the structures of the mouth and the muscle movements. Many clients benefit from exercises that strengthen the muscles, increase their range of motion, and improve their coordination and control. 


A child who demonstrate any of the following may be exhibiting an Oral Motor disorder

  • Excessive drooling
  • bite straws when drinking or put the straw more than 1/4 inch into his/her mouth
  • overstuff his/her mouth when eating
  • have an open mouth posture
  • have a protruding tongue
  • look like he/she is smiling all the time
  • prefer one brand of baby food carrots over another
  • have a limited diet
  • swallow without chewing
  • grind his/her teeth during the day
  • have a history of difficult nursing (or did you "not make enough milk" for your child to nurse)

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Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Severe, overall impairment of the ability to regulate sensory experiences, affecting the child’s affect and behavior, interaction with others, and communication skills; similar to but milder than, autism.

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Pragmatic Language/Social Skills

Pragmatics is the area of language function where language is used in social contexts. Children with pragmatic difficulties have weaknesses in using language socially for their chronological age level. Pragmatic skills include maintaining appropriate eye contact, participating in a conversation by taking turns with the other speaker, and knowing how to initiate, maintain and end a conversation. Good pragmatic language users keep in mind the listener’s informational needs and respond appropriately to the non-verbal aspects of language such as tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions. Children with pragmatic language difficulties often have trouble making and keeping friends and interacting with peers and adults. 

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Stuttering

Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases, and involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the stutterer is unable to produce sounds. 

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Tongue Thrust

Tongue thrust is the pushing of the tongue against the teeth while swallowing or at rest. The average person swallows 2000 - 4000 times per day and exerts pressure with each swallow. This can push the teeth out of alignment and may cause distorted speech sounds.

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Voice Disorder

A voice disorder is characterized by any change in the voice that affects its sound quality, pitch, or volume, or interferes with the ability to communicate. An individual with a voice disorder may sound hoarse, breathy, or nasal; may use a voice that sounds too loud or too quiet; or may use a pitch that sounds too high or too deep.

A variety of voice disorders exist, which may be caused by vocal abuse, disease, allergies, medications, or trauma. Vocal abuse includes speaking too loudly, yelling, using improper pitch, or using inappropriate breathing patterns. Vocal fold nodules or polyps are the most common problems resulting from vocal abuse. A person with a voice disorder must be treated medically by a physician prior to consulting with a speech-language pathologist (SLP). Together, the physician and the SLP can develop a treatment plan, which may include medical or surgical intervention and voice therapy. 

 

 
 
Copyright © 2016 Communication Matters of South Florida, Inc.