SPEECH THERAPY GLOSSARY

Acquired Brain Injury: Traumatic brain injury describes head injury such as might be caused by a fall or a road traffic accident. Non-traumatic brain injury includes damage caused by strokes, tumours, lack of oxygen following surgery, infectious diseases, etc. Acquired Brain Injury can affect adults and children.

APHASIA: Reduced efficiency in the comprehension and/or expression of language caused by damage to the central nervous system, generally following stroke

ARTICULATION DELAY: when a child's  articulation development is below the child's chronological age and fails to acquire the adult articulatory patterns. However the child will catch up with his chronological age with therapy such as a school or home therapy programme.

ASSESSMENTS: measures used by various professionals. Speech and Language Therapists use them to find out what communication disorders a person may have and the severity of the disorder. They are also used to find out what the person's communication strengths are.

AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD): A developmental disability that affects the way a person is able to communicate and relate to people around them. Some people with ASD will have learning disabilities. Others have average or above-average intelligence: included in this group are those with Asperger's Syndrome, or high functioning Autism.

CEREBRAL PALSY: An umbrella term for a group of persistent disorders of posture and movement caused by damage to the immature brain. It is non-progressive, but associated complications may occur later. The physical impairment resulting from the initial damage can vary from mild to very severe. Cerebral Palsy can affect walking, feeding, talking, and hand use. Sometimes other parts of the brain are also affected which may lead to difficulties with hearing, sight, perception, or learning skills.

CLEFT LIP AND PALATE: Cleft means 'split' or 'separation'. During early pregnancy separate areas of the face develop individually and then join together. If some parts do not join properly the result is a cleft, the type and severity of which can vary.

COCHLEAR IMPLANT: a special type of hearing aid that is surgically implanted. These aids may be used by adults who were born deaf, or who have become profoundly deaf. Children born with profound deafness, or progressive hearing loss, may also be candidates for a cochlear implant following assessment by a specialist team on a cochlear implant programme.

DYSARTHRIA: After a stroke or other brain injury, the muscles of the mouth, face, and respiratory system may become weak, move slowly, or not move at all. The resulting speech condition is called dysarthria. The type and severity of dysarthria depends on which area of the nervous system is affected. (ASHA) Dysarthria also occurs in progressive conditions.

DYSFLUENCY: Otherwise known as stammering or stuttering. A communication disorder characterised by excessive involuntary disruptions or blockings in the flow of speech, particularly when disruptions consist of repetitions accompanied by avoidance and/or struggle behaviour.

DYSPHAGIA: Difficulty chewing or swallowing

DYSLEXIA: Dyslexia affects the under-lying skills that are needed for learning to read, write and spell.

ENT: Ear, Nose and Throat

Glue ear: a condition where the middle ear fills with glue-like fluid instead of air. This causes dulled hearing. In most cases it clears by itself without any treatment. Treatment with a balloon that is blown up by the child using their nose may help in some cases. An operation to clear the fluid and to insert grommets may be advised if glue ear persists

HEARING AID: An electronic instrument that amplifies sound for a hearing-impaired user

LEARNING DISSABILITY: Childhood development that is significantly behind that of the peer group.

MAKATON: A unique language programme offering a structured, multi-modal (signing and symbols) approach for the teaching of communication, language and literacy skills. Devised for children and adults with a variety of communication and learning disabilities, Makaton is used extensively throughout the UK and has been adapted for use in over 40 other countries.

PARKINSON'S DISEASE: A progressive disease characterized by muscle weakness and tremor.

PHONOLOGICAL DISORDER: A developmental disorder where a child's speech sound system does not develop to normal patterns.

SELECTIVE MUTISM: Children are able to speak but persistently fail to do so in specific situations over a long period.

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