Plano Speech Therapist | Amy McKay Gehan, M.A., CCC-SLP

Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation | Speech Therapist Glossary

Speech Therapist Glossary

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Inability to identify or to recall names of people, places, or things. Seen with some aphasias.

Loss of language abilities and function as a result of brain damage. It may affect comprehension and/or expression of verbal language, as well as reading, writing, and mathematics.

A neurologically based motor speech disorder that adversely affects the abilities to execute purposeful speech movements. Muscle weakness is not associated with apraxia.

Use of articulators (lips, tongue, etc.) to produce speech sounds. It also describes a person’s ability to make sounds, as in “her articulation contained several errors.”

The action of a foreign material(e.g., food) penetrating and entering the airway below the true vocal folds.

A graphic illustration of hearing sensitivity. An audiogram depicts hearing levels (in dB) at different frequencies (Hz) of sound.

A serious condition typically accompanied by severe deficiencies of speech and language development, as well as nonverbal communication. Difficulties interacting with other people and are common.

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Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)
A deficiency in the way the brain processes verbal/auditory information. Children and adults that have CAPD often struggle to understand the meaning of what is being said to them. Some people are born with CAPD whereas; other people acquire it later in life.
(Is CAPD curable? Learn more at

Cerebral vascular accident (CVA)

Also called a stroke. Damage to part of the brain due to a disturbance in the blood supply.

A speech disorder characterized by rapid and sometimes unintelligible speech; sound, part-word, or whole-word repetitions; and often a language deficit.

Conductive hearing loss
Reduced hearing acuity from diminished ability to conduct sound through the outer or middle ear; often due to abnormalities of the external ear canal, eardrum, or ossicular chain.

Mental deterioration characterized by confusion, poor judgment, impaired memory, disorientation, and impaired intellect.

Developmental apraxia
A disorder of articulation characterized by difficulty acquiring speech, inconsistent sound errors, and groping or struggle behaviors during speech. Symptoms resemble speech behaviors of apraxia in adults.

A speech error whereby the intended sound is recognizable, but is not produced correctly, Examples include “slurred” or imprecise sound productions.

A group of motor speech disorders associated with muscle paralysis, weakness, or incoordination. It is associated with central or peripheral nervous system damage.

an Interruption that interferes with or prevents the smooth, easy flow of speech. Examples include repetitions, prolongations, interjections, and silent pauses.

A disturbance in the normal act of swallowing.


An involuntary, parrot-like imitation or repeating back of what is heard. It is frequently seen with some autisms and schizophrenias.

Expressive abilities
The abilities to express oneself. This usually refers to language expression through speech, but it also includes gestures, sign language, use of a communication board, and other forms of expression..

The smooth, uninterrupted, effortless flow of speech; speech that is not hindered by excessive dysfluencies.

Systems, rules, or underlying principles that describe the aspects (phonology, semantics, syntax, pragmatics, morphology) of language.

Excessive, undesirable nasal resonance during phonation; nasal resonance on a sound other than /m/and /n/.

Excessive muscle tone or tension.

Lack of normal nasal resonance on the nasal consonants /m/and /n/, often a result of obstruction in the nasal tract.

Reduced or absent muscle tone or tension.

The degree or level to which speech is understood by others.

The addition of a sound or word that does not relate grammatically to other words in the utterance. For example, “ I want, you know, to go, “ or “He was uh going .”

Changes in pitch, stress, and prosodic features that affect speech. The lack of intonation makes the speech sound monotone and “colorless.”

(1) Verbal behavior of children (approximately 9-18 months) containing a variety of inflected syllables that resemble meaningful, connected speech.
(2) Fluent, well-articulated speech that makes little sense, illogical speech consisting of nonsense words or words used in an inappropriate context. For example, Get this a splash of arbuckle.

No words included at this time. Please contact Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation

No words included at this time. Please contact Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation

Mean length of utterance (MLU)
The average length of each utterance taken from multiple utterances. It is usually the average number of morphemes per utterance, but it can also be use to describe the average number of words per utterance.

Mixed hearing loss
A hearing loss with conductive and sensorineural components.

The smallest unit of language that has meaning. Free morphemes (cat, dog, me, etc.) can stand alone to convey meaning and cannot be reduced any further without losing meaning. Bound morphems (-ing, -s,-er, etc.) cannot stand alone; they must be attached to a free morpheme to convey meaning.

Nasal emission
When airflow escapes through the nasal cavity. Often seen in the presence of an inadequate velopharyngeal seal between the oral and nasal cavities. It is most frequently heard during the production of voiceless sounds, especially voiceless plosives or fricatives.

Sounds made with air moving through the nasal cavities. It is appropriate during productions of /m/and /n/; it is inappropriate with all other English sounds.

The absence or deletion of a needed sound. For example, articulating so instead of soap.

A problem with word substitution commonly associated with aphasia. For example, saying mom for dad.

The physiological process by which air moving through the vocal tract becomes acoustic energy in the larynx; production of voiced (versus voiceless) sounds.

The study of the rules that govern and describe how language is used during different situations, in light of its context and environment.

The inappropriate lengthening of a sound production. For example, prolonging the vowel in the word gooood.

Variations in rate, loudness, stress, intonation, and rhythm producing the melodic components of speech.

Puree diet
A diet that consists of foods that are blended to a soft texture, like that of pudding or applesauce. It may be recommended for clients who have dysphagia.le.

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Receptive abilities
The ability to understand or comprehend language. It usually refers to the ability to understand verbal expression, but it also includes the ability to understand sign language, writing, Braille, and other forms of language.

Backward flow of food or liquids that have already entered the stomach.

In dysfluent speech, the abnormal additional productions of a sound, syllable, word or phrase. For example, I-I-I-I-I want to go.

Vibration of one or more structures related to the source of the sound; vibration above or below the sound source (the larynx for speech). In voice, resonance relates to the quality of the voice produced.

The act of breathing, including drawing air into the body (inspiration) and expulsion of the air from the body (expiration).

Verbalizations in which a targeted word or phrase is changed and a different word or phrase is substituted..

The study of the meaning of language, including meaning at the word, sentence, and conversational levels.

One sound is substituted in place of the target sound. For example wabbit for rabbit..

Speech Therapy
Reduced hearing acuity due to a pathological condition in the inner ear or along the nerve pathway from the inner ear to the brainstem.

The order of language, especially the way words are put together in phrases or sentences to produce meaning.

Telegraphic speech
Short utterances consisting primarily or exclusively of content words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs). Grammatical words such as the, to, or and are typically omitted. For example, “I want to go” may be reduced to “want go.”

Traumatic brain injury
An acute assault on the brain that causes mild to severe injury. The two types of traumatic brain injury are penetrating injuries and closed-head injuries. The damage is localized or generalized, depending on the type and extent of the injury.

No words included at this time. Please contact Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation

No words included at this time. Please contact Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation

No words included at this time. Please contact Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation

No words included at this time. Please contact Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation

No words included at this time. Please contact Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation

No words included at this time. Please contact Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation

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Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation
5928 W. Parker RD., Suite 1000 | Plano, TX 75093
972-608-0416 |

Plano Audiology Website |
Plano Speech Therapy Website |

Shipley, K.G., & McAfee, J.A. (1998). Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology: A Resource Manual.

The publisher is not responsible (as a matter of product liability, negligence or otherwise) for any injury resulting from any material contained herein. This publication contains information relating to general principles of speech therapy which should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients. Manufacturers’ product information and package inserts should be reviewed for current information, including contraindications, dosages and precautions.

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Achieve Hearing's Speech Therapist Glossary 1st Edition, Copyright© 2011 Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation, Inc. All rights reserved.



Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation | Amy McKay Gehan, M.A., CCC-SLP