Speech and language development begins in early infancy and matures throughout a child’s life into adulthood. Both speech and language are essential to connect an individual with the world around them; as such, speech cannot be adequately described without differentiating it from language. Language is the meaning of what an individual understands and the content of the message they communicate during interactions. Language can be communicated to another person through speaking, gestures, text, or even facial expressions and body movements. Speech is just one expression of language through the physical production of sounds. Although speech and language are coupled during typical human development and through the life span, this entry will focus on speech, including typical and atypical development, primary and secondary speech disorders, and ...

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