Here you can find definitions for some of the speech, language, and communication terms that are commonly discussed in our blog posts. We are always adding to it!

ASHA - the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, a professional organization of speech-language pathologists and audiologists


Articulation - formation of sounds for speech

Phonology - the speech sound system of a language


Receptive language - the language we understand

Expressive language - the language we produce

Pragmatic language - social communication; the language we use with others


Joint attention - when two individuals are focusing on one object


Phonological awareness - awareness of the sound structure of language (ASHA)


Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) - alternative means of communication without talking; some examples may include gesturing, using American Sign Language, using a high-tech communication device (e.g., iPad with speech generating application) (ASHA)

Assistive Technology (AT) - any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities (IDEA 2004)

Core words / core vocabulary - small percentage of words that make up to 80% of what we say (e.g., "go", "more", "on")

Fringe words / fringe vocabulary - large percentage of (non-core) words that make up very little of what we say; these words are usually nouns and specific to a certain context (e.g., "vanilla", "dustpan", "humor")

School/Special Populations

IEP - Individualized Education Program

PLOP: Present Level of Performance

RTI: Response to Intervention

SpED: Special Education

SLP: Speech-Language Pathologist

OT: Occupational Therapist

PT: Physical Therapist

BCBA: Board Certified Behavioral Analyst

What are some words or phrases that you’d like to define/know a little more about?

Communication Community

Communication Community

United States of America

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