What is the Difference Between Speech and Language?

blond happy smiling little girl excited laugh

Does Speech & Language mean the same thing?

Speech and language are not the same. The process of speech occurs naturally when appropriate stimulation occurs and progresses without conscious thought. From infancy, we begin developing the milestones of speech that help us begin communicating with sounds, and then, our speech skills help us develop language.

SPEECH – “Speech refers to the sounds that come out of our mouth and take shape in the form of words. The speech process is extremely complicated when you study the scope and sequence of its development.
A number of events must occur for us to speak. The brain MUST:
  • Want to communicate an idea to someone else.
  • Send the idea to the mouth.
  • Tell the mouth which words to say and which sounds make up those words.
  • Incorporate patterns and accented syllables (to avoid sounding like a robot).
  • Send the signals to the muscles that control the tongue, lips, and jaw; however, the muscles, must have the strength and coordination to carry out the brain’s commands.

The muscles in the lungs must be strong enough to control sufficient amounts of air while forcing the vocal cords to vibrate. The air must be going out, not in, for functional speech to occur. The vocal cords must be in good condition in order for one’s speech to sound clear and loud enough to hear. Our sense of hearing monitors and reviews what we say and hears new words to imitate and use in other situations. If we cannot hear clearly, we tend to reproduce sounds that are equally “mumbly.” Also, someone must be willing to communicate with us by listening and reacting to what we say, or there is no point in speaking. The process of developing speech occurs naturally. However, if there is a glitch or disruption in the process, it will affect one’s language.

LANGUAGE – Language is what we speak, write, read, and understand. Language is also communicating through gestures (body language or sign language). There are two distinct areas of language: receptive (what we hear and understand from others’ speech or gestures) and expressive (the words we use to create messages others will understand).
In order for children to begin using and understanding spoken language, they must:
  • Hear well enough to distinguish one word from another.
  • Have someone model what words mean and how to put sentences together.
  • Hear intonation patterns, accents, and sentence patterns.
  • Have the intellectual capability to process what words and sentences mean, store the information, and recall words and sentences heard previously when communicating an idea to someone else.
  • Have the physical capability to speak in order for others to hear and understand the words they are saying.
  • Have a social need and interest in using words to communicate with others.
  • Have another person to positively reinforce their attempts at communication.
Children with receptive language problems may find listening and attending to conversation, stories, oral directions, classroom activities, etc. confusing and difficult at times. If a child’s receptive language doesn’t fully develop, the language learning process slows down before it ever begins. Parents tend to be concerned when their child isn’t talking the way they expect or in the way their same-age peers can talk. If this is happening, a speech-language pathologist will find out if the child is hearing clearly and understanding language (receptive language). If not, the child’s expressive language (meaningful speech) is not going to develop. This is why speech therapy focuses on strengthening a child’s receptive language, even if the concern is that the child isn’t talking properly.
If your child is having difficulty developing speech and/or language skills, it is possible that he/she may also have weak listening skills – usually attributed to an inability to hear well. Strong listening skills are necessary in order to receive and develop sounds for speech and, subsequently, develop language for communication. Consult Christine Wilson, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) to evaluate your child’s development of speech and language if you feel that his/her skills are lacking or not developing at a typical rate. The earlier an SLP can identify and begin treating a child’s speech and/or language problems, the less likely the problems will persist or get worse. Early speech and language intervention can help children be more successful with reading, writing, schoolwork, and interpersonal relationships.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an evaluation today, contact Christine Wilson‘s office today!

Is There a Difference Between Asperger’s and Autism?


What exactly is the difference between Aspergers and Autism? Is there a difference between the two disorders? Nowadays Aspergers falls under high functioning Autism. In 2013 Aspergers was categorized under the Autism Spectrum. Checkout this article to learn more on why Aspergers and high functioning Autism are one in the same:


Speech Therapy in the 21st Century: Using iPad Apps for Home Programming!!


Downloading and using speech apps on your iPad at home is a great tip for home programming!! There are a variety of apps that focus on different areas of speech. Christine Wilson suggests that when using the iPad, the child does not become the operator!! Progress will be seen if the parent operates the iPad and sits down with their child to make sure he/she is verbalizing what he/she wants before allowing them to just select random options on the iPad. What a great way to practice speech at home!! Below are some of our favorite speech apps.

Hamagucci Apps:

  • FunwithVerbs: Fun with Verbs & Sentences is the next step up for children who are learning to speak in sentences, understand past and present verb tensing, and formulate basic syntax structures. This app is great for children who have autism, apraxia and language delays.
  • Prepositions: “Speech with Milo” apps were created by a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, and have been downloaded over 100,000 times. Milo is for speech therapists working with children, or parents who want to teach language skills to their children. The app offers an enjoyable tool used in therapy at a cheap price!
  • MoreFun: This app will help your child with directions. It includes the following concepts: up, down, in front, behind, put in, take out, above, below, turn on, turn off, on, under.
  • First Phrases: This is a perfect app for young students who are just beginning to combine 2 or 3 words together to communicate.
  • PicSentence HD: Picture the Sentence HD is another great speech language app from Hamaguchi! It is fully customizable to increase competence. It will also provide many different opportunities to work on auditory processing and memory retention skills.
  • FunWithDirections: Designed to provide a fun and engaging way to practice listening, following directions, colors, spatial concepts, auditory memory and auditory processing.
  • Objects: Home: This app is designed for children ages 6-12, but can be adapted for younger and older users. It is perfect for children who need practice with defining, describing, vocabulary development, explaining, and understanding salient features (what’s important) about an object or place. It also offers an excellent way to integrate articulation and fluency practice!
  • BTLines1: Designed for older elementary students and up, who would benefit from practice interpreting vocal intonation, facial expressions, perspective-taking, body language, and idiomatic or slang expressions.

Practice with Language Skills:

  • Fun & Functional
  • Idioms
  • Pragmatics
  • WH Questions
  • Using I and Me
  • Negation
  • IrregularVerbs
  • IrregularPlurals
  • Parts Speech


  • R Game
  • Articulation
  • Articulation Carnival
  • Flipbooks
  • SpchFlipBk
  • VowelViz

Sound Apps:

  • AuditoryVerbal
  • SoundExplorer


  • ApraxiaCards (LinguiSystems): Treat childhood apraxia of speech with appealing pictures and a precise, organized hierarchy of word selections and prompts.

Happy family of three with tablet computer in cafe

Christine Wilson’s clinic is a family-centered practice. Christine requires home programming for all of her patients. She demonstrates techniques and activities to do with your child at home. Using apps on the iPad for home programming is a great way to practice speech with your child. When home programming is used on top of speech treatment, Christine guarantees progress will be faster!!

If you are looking for a speech therapy, look no further!! Christine Wilson’s speech clinic is currently accepting new patients. Give the office a call today to schedule an appointment!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!! Here at Christine Wilson’s Speech Clinic we LOVE our clients, they truly make our jobs enjoyable and exciting every day. Checkout these fun therapy activities that are centered around today!!

Valentine Heart Challenge:

Take the Valentine Heart Challenge!! This activity is designed to be used with real valentine “conversation heart” candies. You can choose to use the black and white version and have the kids color in the hearts instead of using real candy.
Here is how it works:
(1) Challenge your child to say their target speech sound 100 TIMES.
(2) Give your child a copy of the Valentine Heart Challenge.
(3) Place a bowl of candies in the middle of the table.
(4) Each time they say an accurate production of their speech sound, they get a candy to place over one of the candy pictures on their sheet.
(5) Their goal is to have 100 accurate productions!!
(6) At the end of the session, enjoy your candy treats!!

Action Articulation:

This black and white printable has a Valentine’s Day theme that children can practice their articulation skills in a fun way: speech drill paired with gross motor exercises. Two different sets of activities are included. Kids love getting up and moving around while practicing their speech sounds with the various gross motor challenges!!

Words From My Heart:

February is the perfect month to remind ourselves of the importance of speaking kindly and giving positive feedback to those around us. As teachers/educators/and parents, we are role models that need to set the example for our students through our words and actions. Use this activity to share a positive message with your student/child about the qualities that make them special and unique. This activity also serves as a great way to address social skills and perspective taking—viewing how we see others as well as ourselves through the descriptions and word choices we make.

Heart Train:

How to play:
(1) Place all cards face down.
(2) Child take turns choosing cards and state at least two meanings for each word the on the chosen card.
(3) If two or more meanings are given, the child roll a dice and move the appropriate spaces.
(4) If chosen, follow the directions on the included wild cards.
(5) The first person to the end of the “heart train” is the winner!!

Valentine Game Board:

Cut out and laminate the Valentine Game Board and Game Cards. This game board can be used with any speech and language goals. Watch out!! If you land on half-eaten cupcake you have to draw a game card. The game card will give you directions on how many spaces you need to move backwards. Have fun playing a Valentine’s Game!!


We hope you enjoy these awesome Valentine’s Day freebies!! Remember, if you or a loved one are looking for speech therapy, contact Christine Wilson’s office today!! We are open Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.

Practicing Language Skills in the Car!


You’re about to set off on a road trip. While you’re eagerly anticipating that perfect vacation getaway, you have hours in a crowded car standing between you and your destination. The car is a great place to practice speech/language skills and strategies. Whether it’s a long or short car ride, take advantage of time spent in the car by playing some fun, language-based games!

Here are some ideas:

Categories: To play this game, one player chooses a category, such as “animals.” Every player takes a turn naming an item in the category. If a player repeats a word or is unable to name a word in the category, he/she is out. Play continues until one player remains and wins the game. To make this task more complex, have the child add more descriptive words to the category (e.g., animals with tails, animals that live in the zoo) or name animals alphabetically (eg., aardvark, bear, cat, dog, etc.).

Rhyme Time: To practice phonological awareness skills, children can practice creating rhymes for things they see from the car window or in the environment around them. For example, if a child chooses the word “tree,” other players must name some rhyming words (e.g., knee, see, me). The player who gives the most rhymes is the winner! As an added bonus, players can create rhymes using nonsense words (e.g., slee, dree). Other players take turns identifying whether the rhyming word is a real word or a nonsense word.

Cities and Syllables: As you pass through different towns, cities, or states, children can practice counting the number of syllables in that city or state’s name. For example, when passing through Idaho, the child counts or claps out three syllables. When passing through Tallahassee, the child counts/claps out four syllables. In a variation of this game, a parent chooses a particular number of syllables. Players look for words in the environment (e.g., road signs, billboards) that contain the specified number of syllables. Each player earns a point for finding a word. The player with the most points wins!

Guess It: Players take turns describing familiar items or objects (e.g., car, apple, baby). The first player chooses an object and gives three clues to describe it. All of the other players take turns guessing what the first player is describing (e.g., It is a fruit; it can be red or green; it grows on a tree). If no players guess correctly, the first player provides another clue about the object. The player who correctly identifies the mystery object earns a point and chooses the next word to describe.

Showtime: Choose age-appropriate DVDs to show children in the car. As the movie or program plays, pause the film to ask questions, such as:

Who is that character?

What do you think is going to happen next?

Where does this story take place?

When does this story take place?

How does this character feel? Why? How can you tell? When was a time that you felt that way?

Who is your favorite character? Why?

What was your favorite part of the movie? Why?

At the end of the film, have the child retell the story to another person in the car. The story should include characters, settings, chronological events, and a conclusion. Encourage the child to produce a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Apps: Educational apps that help children practice language skills are available for tablets or smartphones. Apps like Super Duper’s StoryMaker are interactive and engaging. Apps can address several domains of language: grammar, vocabulary, and social skills.

The suggested games above are great for turning a long car ride into a fun and learning experience! Playing games during long trips is a great way to expand and reinforce language skills.

What Is Aspiration?

Senior Woman Eating Yogurt

What Happens When You Aspirate?

Aspiration means you’re breathing foreign objects into your airways. Usually, it’s food, saliva, or stomach contents when you swallow, vomit, or experience heartburn. This is common in older adults, infants, and people who have trouble swallowing or controlling their tongue.

Most of the time aspiration won’t cause symptoms. You may experience a sudden cough as your lungs try to clear out the substance. Some people may wheeze, have trouble breathing, or have a hoarse voice after they eat, drink, vomit, or experience heartburn. You may have chronic aspiration if this occurs frequently.

What Causes Aspiration?

Some people refer to this as food “going down the wrong way.” This can happen due to reduced tongue control or poor swallowing reflexes. The average person can usually cough out a foreign object before it enters the lungs. People who experience aspiration tend to have problems with swallowing due to:

Cause Result
reduced tongue control This can fail to trigger the swallowing reflex. It tends to cause aspiration of liquids.
abnormal swallow reflex Without a swallow reflex, the food can roll and fall into the airway.
neurological disorders Some neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, cause reduced tongue control.
esophageal disorders These conditions affect the throat and swallowing abilities. They include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), dysphagia, and throat cancer.
throat surgery People who’ve had surgery or a condition that affects their larynx may have trouble swallowing. If the larynx doesn’t close tightly, food or liquids can enter the windpipe.
dental problems This can interfere with chewing or swallowing reflexes.

Silent vs. Overt Aspiration

Symptoms of aspiration usually appear after eating, drinking, vomiting, or an episode of heartburn. They can be silent or overt.

Silent aspiration usually has no symptoms and people aren’t aware that fluids or stomach contents have entered their lungs. Overt aspiration will usually cause sudden, noticeable symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, or a hoarse voice.

Silent aspiration tends to occur in people with impaired senses. In these cases, drooling or changes in the sound of their breathing and talking may be clues of swallowing difficulties.

Make an appointment with the doctor if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms after eating, drinking, vomiting, or an episode of heartburn, especially if they:

  • have a neurological condition
  • recently had throat surgery
  • have throat cancer
  • problems with chewing or swallowing

What Are the Complications of Aspiration?

Aspiration increases your risk for aspiration pneumonia. This is a condition where pneumonia develops after you’ve inhaled bacteria (through food, drink, saliva, or vomit) into your lungs. Too much liquid in your lungs can also result in a pulmonary edema, which puts a strain on your lungs.

In most cases, you won’t know you’ve developed pneumonia or pulmonary edema until you experience other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing with mucus, and more.

What Increases Your Risk?

People with health problems that affect swallowing are at a higher risk for aspirating. These health conditions include:

  • impaired consciousness
  • lung disease
  • seizure
  • stroke
  • dental problems
  • dementia
  • swallowing dysfunction
  • impaired mental status
  • certain neurologic diseases
  • radiation therapy to the head and neck
  • heartburn
  • GERD


If you or a loved one is experiencing aspiration, consult with your healthcare provider and see if feeding therapy is right for you. If so, contact Christine Wilson today to schedule an appointment!

This information and more can be found on healthline.

Tampa Bay’s Autism 5k and Mile Fun Run!

To start off February, Tampa Bay is having their first annual 5k and one mile fun run benefitting autism awareness! This event is presented by Diversity Action Coalition (DAC), a local non-profit. All proceeds for this event will support inclusion efforts for individuals with autism and their families throughout the Tampa Bay Area. If you or you family are interested checkout the link below! Paige, our office manager, will be participating in the 5k. Good luck Paige!




If you or a loved one has autism and would like speech therapy, look no further! Contact Christine Wilson‘s office today to schedule an appointment.