What does PROMPT stand for?

 Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. This type of therapy is a way to systematically manipulate the oro-motor structures to help children and adults with varying speech disorders of a developmental or acquired nature to produce sound that could be shaped for functional verbal interaction with caregivers. 

What is the difference between a speech disorder and a language disorder?

 Children who have trouble understanding what others say (receptive language) or difficulty sharing their thoughts (expressive language) may have a language disorder. Specific language impairment (SLI) is a language disorder that delays the mastery of language skills. Some children with SLI may not begin to talk until their third or fourth year. 

 Children who have trouble producing speech sounds correctly or who hesitate or stutter when talking may have a speech disorder. Apraxia of speech is a speech disorder that makes it difficult to put sounds and syllables together in the correct order to form words. 

Can children learn two languages at the same time?

  Most researchers agree that a child who is exposed to two languages at an early age will learn to use both languages. the child may mix the languages for a while, sometimes in the same sentence. Separation of the two languages will occur gradually. 

What are some common causes for speech and language delays?

  Some common causes may include hearing loss, mental retardation or altered development of the brain before birth, autism, and cerebral palsy. Many language disorders occur without an identifiable cause. 

How can parents help their child learn to talk?

  Talk to your child as you go about your activities together each day. Read to your children often. Encourage your child to talk, and try not to comment on mistakes. Praise all attempts to communicate. Take time to listen and respond to your child. Make talking fun. 

What should I do if my child’s speech or language appears to be delayed?

 Talk to your child’s doctor if you have any concerns. Your doctor may refer you to a speech-language pathologist, who is a health professional trained to evaluate and treat people with speech or language disorders. The speech-language pathologist will talk to you about your child’s communication and general development. He or she will also use special spoken tests to evaluate your child. A hearing test is often included in the evaluation because a hearing problem can affect speech and language development. Depending on the result of the evaluation, the speech-language pathologist may suggest activities you can do at home to stimulate your child’s development. They might also recommend group or individual therapy or suggest further evaluation by an audiologist (a health care professional trained to identify and measure hearing loss), or a developmental psychologist (a health care professional with special expertise in the psychological development of infants and children) 

What can be done about language disorders?

  A speech-language pathologist with experience working with children can evaluate the child’s language development, and design an individualized plan of treatment based on the child’s specific needs. Treatment may take place on an individual basis, in a group setting, or in the classroom. Collaboration with the child’s family is also important, so that cultural as well as individual factors can be taken into consideration. 

*American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2003). Child language, pub 6503. Rockville, MD: Author. * National Institute on Deafmess and other Communication Disorders*