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Deaf – a hearing disorder that limits an individual’s aural oral communication performance to the extent that the primary sensory input for communication may be other than the auditory channel. (Source: ASHA, 2015)

Developmental milestones are behaviors or physical skills seen in infants and children as they grow and develop. Rolling over, crawling, walking, and talking are all considered milestones. The milestones are different for each age range. (Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine)

Children’s develop skills several different areas:

  • Gross motor: These are movements using the body’s large muscles and include sitting, standing, walking, running, keeping balance, and changing positions.
  • Fine motor skills use the small muscles in the hands and fingers. Fine motorskills include —using hands to eat, draw, dress, play, and write—develop over time. They also also involve hand-eye coordination.
  • Language: Speaking, using body language and gestures, and understanding what others say.
  • Cognitive: These are thinking skills—learning, understanding, problem-solving, reasoning, and remembering.
  • Social: Connecting and having relationships with others, cooperating, and responding to the feelings of others. (Source: Canadian Paediatric Society)

Distinctive Features – Characteristics of a sound that make it unique and different from all the other speech sounds in our language. For example, the sound /b/ is made in the front of your mouth, with your “voice on” and your lips popping apart.

Distortion – Errors in speech in which the sounds are not produced clearly, they may be slurred or imprecise.

Doula – The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. (Definition of Doula)

Dysarthria – A speech disorder associated with muscle weakness, which could be from paralysis of certain muscle groups or paresis (weakness due to brain damage). A disorder associated with nervous system damage. In children it is most often seen with those that have cerebral palsy.

Dysfluency – The “smoothness” of speech, dysfluent speech may be referred to as stuttering (see below). This is measured by sound/word/phrase repetitions, sound elongations, interruption of airflow and other measures.

Dyslexia – A general term used to describe reading disorders/difficulties. There are specific types of dyslexias, however generally children have trouble with phonological awareness (see below) and sequencing to read, write and spell words.  While very specific testing is done to determine the type of dyslexia, this may not be necessary for every child.. Speech-Language Pathologists who are trained in reading are able to evaluate children’s different areas of reading and develop a good treatment plan without an official diagnosis related to dyslexia.

Dysphagia – A swallowing disorder due to any difficulty in any of the stages of swallowing. Children and adults with swallowing difficulties often receive a swallow study or test from a hospital, and may undergo swallowing therapy to learn strategies for making swallowing safer.  Some people with dysphagia are NPO, which means they should not take any food by mouth.

This list is not an exhaustive list of terms in the field, but rather, is meant to provide reference for some of the words you may find in our blogs.
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