A Glossary Of Speech Therapy Terms: F-M

A Glossary Of Speech Therapy Terms | District Speech Therapy Services Speech Language Pathologist Therapist Clinic Washington DC

Your speech therapist will use a variety of terms during your assessment and treatment.

Understanding these terms will help you get the most value out of your speech therapy sessions as possible.

We’re District Speech, a Washington DC speech therapist clinic that’s committed to helping our clients understand the specifics about their treatment.

Last time, we discussed a variety of .

In this article, we’ll continue that discussion and of explore some speech therapy terms.

Some of these terms may be more common with speech therapy for adults.

Others are more common with pediatric speech therapy.

Regardless, though, we hope this glossary will help you better understand your treatment options.

If you do have further questions, you can always consult our frequently asked questions about speech therapy page.

Or, you can book an appointment with District Speech today to speak with one of our many skilled speech therapists in DC.

You can also continue reading the other articles in this series: , , and .

Without further ado, let’s get started.


Fluency refers to the smoothness of your speech.

The way your sounds, syllables, words, and phrases are pronounced all contribute to your speech’s fluency.

From a speech therapy perspective, it’s not related to how well you can speak a language.

Fluency Disorder

A fluency disorder is a speech disorder that affects the fluency of your speech.

The two most common fluency disorders are stuttering and cluttering.

Speech therapy for fluency disorders is geared toward helping you overcome these conditions.

Both speech therapy for adults and children can help with fluency disorders, but it’s best to bring young children in sooner than later.

Early intervention speech therapy has shown to be more effective than a “wait and see” approach.

RELATED: Stuttering Speech Therapy Treatment
RELATED: Speech Therapy For Cluttering


Your frenulum is a small cord of tissue that connects the underside of your tongue with the floor of your mouth.

When your frenulum is too short, it can restrict your tongue movement and subsequently impact your speech.

This is referred to as tongue tie.

Speech therapy for tongue tie can help.

What is a language disorder? | District Speech Therapy Services Speech Language Pathologist Therapist Clinic Washington DC


Idiosyncratic is a word used to describe a peculiarity with an individual’s speech.

In other words, something may be referred to as idiosyncratic if it’s out of the ordinary.

An idiosyncrasy can be structural, such as tongue tie, or behavioral, such as echolalia.


You may have heard the term jargon before in relation to the type of things people say when they’re in a specific industry.

In fact, the terminology in this very article might sound like jargon!

But it originally referred to the typical language of young babies and toddlers.

Before their speech skills are fully developed, babies often utilize a variety of syllables that are strung together in a manner replicating meaningful connected speech.

Jargon is your child’s way of replicating the speech sounds they hear around them.

For instance, your toddler might point to their favorite book and say “read.”

The meaning they’re trying to convey is a lot more than that single word, though.

It really means “would you please read me a story?” but their language isn’t yet sophisticated enough to say that.

Jargon Aphasia

Aphasia is a speech disorder that frequently develops after a stroke or other traumatic brain injury.

Somebody with jargon aphasia will frequently speak using language that’s incomprehensible to those around them.

However, it appears to make sense to them.

Speech therapy for aphasia can help.

RELATED: How To Communicate with An Adult With Aphasia


Labial refers to things involving use of your lips.

Some labial sounds require your lips to fully close for correct pronunciation, such as words beginning with m or b.

Language Disorder

Language disorders are a group of disorders which affect your ability to verbally communicate efficiently.

Language disorders come in all shapes and sizes.

Some people with language disorders have difficulty with all forms of verbal communication whereas others struggle with a specific component of speech, such as syntax.

Several types of disabilities and impairments may lead to a language disorder.

For instance, hearing loss, neurological disorders, brain injuries, and physical impairments such as cleft lip and cleft palate are all potential causes of language disorders.

RELATED: Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate Speech Therapy

Some of the more common language disorders include:


If something is linguadental it involves your tongue and teeth.

Linguadental sounds are produced by touching your tongue to the back of your upper teeth.

For instance, words such as “tea” and “date” cannot be properly pronounced without this specific movement from your tongue.


Lingual sounds require the use of your tongue.

Your tongue can move in many different ways to help produce a variety of sounds.

For instance, raising the back part of your tongue to the roof of your mouth helps you pronounce k and g sounds.

Alternatively, raising the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth helps you pronounce t and n sounds.


People with lisps struggle to properly produce one or more sibilant consonants, including s and z.

Lisps are typically caused by either improper tongue placement or structural abnormalities.

Many types of lisps exist including dental, frontal, and lateral.

RELATED: Speech Therapy Treatments For Children With A Lisp


A morpheme is a small unit of language that can’t be further divided.

For instance, consider the word “incoming”.

In order to pronounce this word, you have to combine three distinct units of language: “in”, “come”, and “-ing”.

These distinct units of language are referred to as morphemes.


Munching is a baby’s earliest form of chewing.

Book Your Appointment With District Speech Today

Are you interested in hearing more about the numerous terms used by speech therapists?

At District Speech, we’re committed to not only making sure that you receive the highest quality of care, but also that you understand the specifics about your unique health and treatment plan.

Book your appointment with District Speech today to find out more about our services and how we can help you transform your speech.

District Speech and Language Therapy
1300 I St NW, Suite 400 E,
Washington, DC 20005

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District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.