Speech & Language Therapy Service - Glossary

AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) - methods of communication which can be used by adults and children who find difficulty in communicating because they have little or no clear speech. It adds to or replaces spoken communication and may include low tech as well as high tech methods. Low tech includes signing, pointing to pictures in a Communication Book, Picture Exchange Communication System etc.  High tech devices normally work electronically. 

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) www.addiss.co.uk - a condition where the individual finds it difficult to maintain attention and is easily distracted.  This would be identified by a paediatrician or psychiatrist.

Articulation - process of controlling speech organs (e.g. tongue, lips, palate etc) to produce speech sounds.

ASD – (Autism Spectrum Disorder) www.nas.org.uk www.autism.com- a spectrum of disorders that involve difficulties in social interaction, social communication, flexibility of thought and often sensory issues. 

Attention and Listening - the ability to control focus on a task or activity.

Auditory discrimination - the ability to hear the difference between sounds.

Auditory memory - The ability to remember information that is heard.

CAMHS Child and Adult Mental Health Services. The service offers a wide range of support for young people and their families who have mental health difficulties such as; psychosis, depression, eating disorders, ADHD, self-harm, obsessive compulsive disorders, anxiety etc. https://www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/CAMHS

Cerebral Palsy www.ucp.org - neurological condition that affects movement, posture and coordination.

Cleft lip www.clapa.com – a structural abnormality, where there is a split in the upper lip, which occurs during foetal development, sometimes associated with cleft palate.

Cleft palate www.clapa.com or www.cleftline.org - a structural abnormality whereby the roof of the mouth is not closed completely during foetal development, which may cause associated problems with eating, breathing, articulation and hearing. 

Cognitive skills - these are the skills required for all aspects of thinking including the processes of perception, memory, reasoning, language and some types of learning.

Communication Book - personalised book containing photos or pictures that enable an individual to communicate basic thoughts and ideas by pointing to the pictures in the book. This is a low tech AAC device.

Comprehension - understanding (spoken words or written text).

Dysfluency www.stammering.org or www.stammeringcentre.org - difficulty in producing smooth, fluent speech. The terms stammering or stuttering are frequently used.

Dysphagia - difficulty with swallowing in a smooth and coordinated manner.

Dyspraxia (or developmental coordination disorder) www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk - dyspraxia is generally recognised to be an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of planning of coordinated movements. Associated with this may be problems with speech, language, perception and thought.

Echolalia - the repetition of words or phrases heard without understanding and which may be delayed or immediate.

ELCAS – Stands for East Lancashire Child and Adolescent Service. ELCAS is a specialist mental health service for children and young people. In many areas in the country these services are called CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). http://www.elht.nhs.uk/departments-wards-and-services/elcas.htm

Expressive language - the use of words and sentences to express ideas.

Global development delay - delay in all areas of development i.e. physical, language and communication, learning, social etc.

Glue Ear: a fluctuating hearing loss caused by the intermittent build-up of fluid behind the ear drum.

Hearing Impairment - may be: sensori-neural hearing loss (permanent); conductive hearing loss (of middle ear origin); fluctuating hearing loss.

Information Carrying Words (ICW): the number of key words that must be understood for the overall meaning of a spoken or signed utterance to be carried out e.g. “Show me the teddies nose” = 2ICW (also known as key words).

Information processing skills - taking in information, storing this information in memory and retrieving it when needed. 

Individual Education Plan (IEP): specific targets or strategies put in place to aid a child’s access to the curriculum.

Intonation: the rhythm of how we speak.

Involvement plan: Is a plan written by the Speech and Language Therapist to support the development of your child’s communication skills. Every child is different and their communication needs vary, therefore your child's intervention will be individually tailored to meet their needs.

Jargon: sound sequences, phrases and sentences with no meaningful content (this refers to child’s language but sometimes covers professionals as well!).

Language - system for expressing thoughts and ideas using a set of symbols e.g. speaking.

Language Delay - an individual with language delay presents with language development that follows the normal sequence and pattern but at a slower rate.

Language Disorder - an individual with language disorder presents with language development that does not follow the normal pattern, giving rise to complex language problems in one or more specific areas of language.

Learning Disability - a condition where an individual has difficulty learning according to the typical pattern.

Makaton: a simplified sign and symbol system based on British Sign Language (BSL) and natural gesture.

Modelling: repeating the child’s sentence/sign and thus providing an example of appropriate words and phrases.

Multisensory - using two or more senses simultaneously so that the stronger sense can support the weaker. The visual, auditory and kinaesthetic senses are the most frequently used.

Non-verbal communication - communication without using spoken words or sentences e.g. pointing, gesture.

Objects of reference: objects which have special meanings assigned to them. Objects of reference were initially used with blind people and those with dual sensory impairment. Now also used with people with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) http://www.pecs.com/ - system of visual communication using pictures, symbols or photos, developed by Lori Frost and Andy Bondy in 1995.

Phonological awareness - awareness of speech sounds in words and the ability to manipulate them. Includes awareness of rhyme and alliteration.

Phonology - the speech sound system of a language – the rules which govern how sounds are organised in words in order to convey different meanings.

Phonological delay - an individual with a phonological delay presents with phonological development that follows a typical pattern, but at a slower rate. 

Pragmatics - the use of language in social situations, including conversational skills and the understanding and use of non-verbal communication.

Receptive language - understanding language. Understanding of what is said or written, including vocabulary, grammar, instructions, stories, others' non-verbal communication, etc.

Selective Mutism: a communication difficulty in which the child chooses not to speak in certain situations or to certain people although they have the ability to do so.

SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) - identified person responsible for coordinating teaching and learning needs, as well as key support services within a setting or school for children with additional needs.

Semantics: the knowledge of the meaning surrounding words and sentences for example a ‘cat’ has two ears, four legs, fur and says “Meow”.

SLT or SALT: Speech and Language Therapy/Therapist.

SLTA: Speech and Language Therapy Assistant.

Sequencing - the ability to place pictures, writing, events, activities or thoughts in a logical order.

Short-term memory - this is an earlier term for 'working memory'. The working memory can be defined as the mental space in which we hold information for a relatively short time while we do something with that information. The term working memory makes it clear that there is active processing taking place, such as the execution of instructions or the addition of two numbers.

SLCN (Speech, Language and Communication Needs) - SLCN is an 'umbrella' term covering children who do not develop speech and language as expected.

Social and functional use of language - this can also be described as 'pragmatic'. It involves understanding the meaning of words and the conventional rules and hidden meaning in language: knowledge of the rules of conversation and the ability to follow them, when to listen, take turns, etc.; knowledge of social rules, how to gain attention and show empathy; as well as the ability to interpret both verbal and non-verbal rules of communication.

Social Communication Skills - the use of language in social situations, including conversational skills and the understanding and use of non-verbal communication.

Speech - sounds that are made and combined in a set way to express language.

Stammering (Stuttering) - see dysfluency.

Symbols - visual/auditory or kinaesthetic representation of a concept. e.g. picture of an apple that represents an apple.

Visual timetable - a visual timetable enables children to understand what they are doing over a period of time. It gives structure to the day and can reduce anxiety levels. Symbols are used to represent the tasks, activities or lessons.

Vocabulary: the store of words a child knows and uses.

Voice Problem: a problem with the quality (hoarse/husky), pitch (too high or too low) or volume (too loud or too quiet) of the voice or with the control of the breath for speech.

Word Finding Difficulties: inability to reliably retrieve a known target word from memory.

 

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