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What should you do if you suspect your child has a speech, language or learning problem?

Because parents are sometimes unsure if their child needs help, an initial intake or consultation is beneficial to determine if an evaluation is right for your child. Our evaluations are completed using state-of-the-art assessment tools. These include a combination of standardized tests and clinical observation. Combined findings determine how your child performs in specific speech and language skill areas compared to same aged peers.  In a follow-up meeting, the assessment results will be reviewed and recommendations and a treatment plan will be presented.

What is the difference between a receptive and expressive language disorder?

Receptive language is the understanding of language. Children with receptive language impairments have difficulties attending to, processing and/or comprehending spoken language. This often results in difficulties understanding verbal directions and information.


Expressive language refers to the verbal skills required to communicate with others. Children with an expressive language disorder have difficulties using words to express their needs, and often compensate with the use of non-verbal gestures. Others typically have a limited vocabulary and use simplified grammatically incorrect phrases.

What is an articulation/phonological disorder?

A child with an articulation disorder does not make speech sounds correctly due to incorrect placement or movement of their articulators (i.e., lips, tongue ). For example they may say “sip” for “ship” or “dot” for “dog”.


A phonological disorder refers to an impairment in the speech sound system. A child with a phonological disorder may drop or delete consonants and/or sounds in various sound positions. For example they may say “ba-fly” for “butterfly” and “ca” for “cat”.

What sounds should my child be saying?

All children acquire sounds at a different pace. The following is a guideline for speech sound acquisition. If you or others have significant difficulties understanding your child, contact Lapsa Speech Language Center for a complete speech evaluation.


  • By 6 months - Cooing, gurgling , Babbling "bababa"

  • By 1 year – imitates sounds, approximates real words “mama”

  • By 2 years – approximately 50% intelligible

  • By 3 years – approximately 75% intelligible - Vowels, P, B, M, T, D, N, K, G, H, W

  • By 4 years – 100% intelligible with some sound substitutions - F, V, Y, S, Z, SH, CH, J

  • By 5-6 years – L, R, TH 

How do I know if my child’s “stuttering” is normal?

Stuttering is when speech is disturbed by involuntary repetitions, prolongations or blocks. Repetitions are characterized by phrase repetitions (“Can I – Can I – Can I – play?), whole word repetitions (“I want want want cookies”), part-word repetitions (“ba-ba-ba-nana”) and sound repetitions (“p-p-p-play”). A prolongation is when a child holds a single sound for an extended period of time (“Mmmmmy turn”). A block is a silent pause in words or sentences (“I went to the (pause) store”). Children under the age of 3 may present with occasional part-word and whole word repetitions, secondary to language development. These repetitions should decrease by age three. Early warning signs of stuttering are decreased eye contact, tighting or stiffening of neck and shoulders, and eye blinking.

Why choose Lapsa Speech Language Center for reading or academic difficulty?

Current research demonstrates a strong link between speech, language, auditory processing and reading success. For many children, learning to read and reading to learn are the greatest challenges they will face in their young lives.

Speech and Language Pathologists are experts in the areas of auditory processing, phonological and phonemic awareness, morphological awareness, and language comprehension and vocabulary development – all of which are the building blocks for reading. We have been trained in the most current, clinically-proven strategies to help your child become a successful reader.


  1. My son is in middle school and gets good grades but is terribly disorganized. Can therapy for Executive Dysfunction help my child?


Absolutely! Problems with Executive Function often do not become apparent until middle school when the amount of information and the demand for specificity and quantity of information increase. Additionally, there is an increasing demand during this academic period for working independently. As the complexity of academic expectations continue to grow with each academic year, so too does the need for executive functioning.


When children lack executive function skills, they need to be taught explicitly. After an initial assessment, a therapy program will be designed to teach your child strategies which can be utilized in all aspects of their life; academic, social and the work place.


  1. My high school student gets straight A’s but only because I help him with everything. He has problems writing papers and reports, organizing his assignments and turning them in on time. How will he get better in time to go away to college?


Executive Function therapy at Lapsa Speech Language Center will solve this problem. Please refer to the Executive Function section under both Methods and Who we Help for additional information.



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