Speech Therapy Terms for Reference

There are a lot of terms in the speech therapy and pathology world that may sound intimidating, but we want to alleviate any nervousness or confusion you might have. Below we've compiled and defined some of the more common terms used by speech pathologists and therapists:

  • Anomia: a language impairment which makes it difficult to remember words and names; common to most types of aphasia

  • Aphasia: a language disorder caused by damage to the language centers of the brain.

  • Apraxia: an articulation disorder marked by impaired ability to move or position the mouth, jaw, or tongue for speech production

  • Articulation: the process and ability to make speech sounds

  • Auditory processing disorder: a language impairment which makes it difficult to recognize or comprehend auditory information

  • Bilabial: pertaining to sounds made with both lips. 

  • Dysarthria: a motor speech disorder that causes unclear speech, often caused by stroke, TBI, Parkinson’s, ALS, or cerebral palsy.

  • Dysphagia: impaired swallowing, common caused by stroke.

  • Expressive Aphasia: a class of aphasia defined by labored, non-fluent, and agrammatic speech

  • Fluent Aphasia: a class of aphasia in which words are produced in longer bursts with less effort

  • Language disorder: any difficulty creating or receiving linguistic inputs

  • Lisp: a speech disorder marked by the improper pronunciation of one or more of the six sibilant consonants, often caused by improper tongue placement

  • Motor Speech Disorder: a disorder marked by difficulty producing speech (e.g.: dysarthria, aphasia, or apraxia)

  • Neurologist: a medical doctor specializing in disorders related to the nervous system

  • Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA): a rare form of dementia that starts with gradual loss of language

  • Receptive Aphasia: another name for fluent aphasia

  • Semantic Feature Analysis (SFA): a method used in naming therapy

  • Spaced Retrieval: a method used to help dementia patients recall important information over intervals of time to cement the information in memory.

  • Speech and Language Therapist (SLT): another term for Speech-Language Pathologist. 

  • Speech Therapy: The treatment of communication and swallowing disorders

  • Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP): a professional trained to evaluate and treat communication and swallowing disorders.

  • Stuttering: a disturbance in the normal fluency and time patterning of speech. 

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): an impact or injury to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. 

  • Visual Scanning: a treatment for visual attention deficits or neglect

  • Wernicke’s Aphasia: another type of fluent aphasia, marked by poor auditory comprehension and jargon speech.


This is not a complete list, however, our licensed practitioners take responsibility to help educate every family that comes in our doors. Don't worry if it's your first time taking a child to speech therapy – there is a lot to learn but everyone has to start in the same place! We are here to help you and your child.


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"Amy Hopkins has been here with our family from the beginning. She made a family connection that will last a lifetime!!! Don't know what I would do without her. She didn't care that Kayden was under the table playing in dirt!"

- Erin Faw

"It is so hard to believe our last therapy is this week. We had a wonderful therapist who has done all the hard stuff for our future therapist."

- Bobbie Conover

"My six-year-old Autistic daughter has been receiving speech services from Mueller Pediatric Therapy since she was in Early Intervention. We were so pleased with Emma's work with her at the end of EI that we decided to keep her working with her. Since then, we have seen so much progress in our daughter's ability to not only talk (as she was barely talking upon entering EI) but to understand language and use it appropriately to make requests, express herself and interact with peers. The office staff has also been great in helping us navigate difficulties in dealing with our insurance provider. I recommend Mueller Pediatric Therapy to anyone I know who is looking for services to help children with delays."

- Alysia Short

"Our family has chosen Mueller Pediatric Therapy to serve our two children over the past 5 years. We've had 4 amazing therapists and great experiences with the company. We truly believe they choose the best to work and teach both children, and their families. The personal experiences and relationships we've witnessed make me proud to refer this company."

- Holly K.

"Mueller Pediatric Therapy was a great help to my son when our previous speech therapist fell short of our expectations. The owner, Erin Mueller, took a personal interest in my son’s case and assigned the therapist she felt would be the best fit for my son’s needs. Vicky jumped right in and within the first session had a diagnosis and therapy plan to go forward. We received more personalized treatment in the first month than we had in 6 months with our previous therapist. Vicky had a vast amount of experience that was evident in the way she worked with my son and the knowledge she was able to pass on to me about my son’s condition. She was so personal and easy to work with. I would recommend Vicky and Mueller Pediatric Therapy to anyone looking for a fresh start to their therapy needs."

- T.C.

"We have chosen Mueller Pediatric Therapy for all 4 of our children. Over the past 9 years we have utilized their amazing speech therapists to work with our boys while they were going through Early Invention. They have given them the skills and tools they need to jump start their speech and be able to start school with the confidence they need to succeed. They are now in 6th, 4th, and 1st grade and doing fantastic. My daughter is 4 1/2, autistic, and has been with Mueller since Early Intervention. When she started she was non-verbal, had no real interactions with others and was very withdrawn. In 2 short years she had become a totally different girl. With Mueller's speech, speech group, and OT services she has thrived. She greets people when she sees them, wants to play with others, and just over the last 3 months has started talking. I owe so much to the ladies at Mueller who have taught my kids, stood up for them, cheered them on and pushed them to become better! I would recommend them all day because without them, my children wouldn't be who they are today."

- Erin C.

"Graeme started speech services with Mueller about a year ago. The difference it has made! He speaks so much more and really enjoys time with his teacher Miss Maggie. He looks forward to his sessions. I know both Graeme and I will be sad when he is too old to continue."

- C. E.

"Erin is a very gifted and talented speech therapist. I was constantly amazed at her understanding of how sounds are formed and further amazed at her ability to accurately know which sounds my son was articulating and which sounds needed help. He constantly progressed while under her instruction. Furthermore, Erin truly cared about his development and ability to accomplish sounds. It wasn’t just a “job” to her, she cared, at a personal level, about his development. I was excited when Erin started Mueller Pediatric Therapy. The more people she could touch through her services and through her therapists, the more families that would be blessed."

- Dorine Aberle

Miss Emma (speech), Miss Jamie (previous OT), and Miss Amy (DT) have been so great with me and my son over the years. They have always had interest in what works best for us and listening to my son's cues and what he needs, how he learns best. Greyson has not always been the most willing to do things that come harder for him, but with the help from this staff, their consistent care and patient minds, he is thriving and has come leaps and bounds from where he first started. We are thankful, grateful and blessed to have these professionals in our corner. Thank you so much for all you do for us!

- Jenna Darnell

I would highly recommend my daughter's Speech Therapist, Brittany, because she was wonderful with Mackenzie. She really related to her and really connected with my child by catering to her needs, moods, and her actions on the day of her therapy session. Brittany was constantly working hard with my daughter and always made her laugh and smile. Brittany and Mackenzie had a wonderful connection of which I had never seen with any of her other therapists. Brittany has a wonderful and outgoing personality which really showed when she was working with my daughter. My daughter always looked forward to when Miss Brittany came to her house and always hated to see her leave. I would highly recommend Brittany Hoffmire to any parents looking for a speech therapist because of her awesome ability to work and relate to kids. Thank you very much Brittany for making a difference in my daughter's life and with her speech. You are one in a million. Keep up the awesome work you are doing!! Thank you!

- Nicole Berg

About Us

Mueller Pediatric Therapy, Ltd., was established by Erin Mueller, Speech-Language Pathologist, in 2008. MPT is passionate about providing quality Pediatric Therapy Services. We are the leading Pediatric Therapy Agency in Central Illinois offering a wide array of services for children ages Birth-18 years. We look forward to working with you and your child!


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