How Speech Happens
When we talk, sound comes out of our mouths as vibrations and goes into the child's ear. It goes into the child's ear and travels until it hits the cochlea in the inner ear. The cochlea is filled with nerve endings and fluid. The vibrations wiggle the fluid and the fluid wiggles the nerve endings. The sound is now no longer mechanical vibration .... it is now electrical.
This electrical impulse is then taken up the auditory nerve to Auditory Processing to analyze sound. Auditory Processing analyzes a series of speech sounds and sends a message to Motor Planning. In order to repeat the series of speech sounds, Motor Planning sets up a "motor plan" to tell the body what muscles need to move where to produce the desired sound.
The motor plan is then sent down nerves to the mouth where the muscles of the mouth hopefully have the strength and coordination to implement the motor plan.
In the Speech Therapist's mind, there are stations along this circuit where breakdowns can occur that explain why a child is having difficulty with speech and/or language. Our Speech Therapists analyze each of these stations to look for problems and weaknesses that can be solved and strengthened.
It should be clear that hearing speech and being able to reproduce it is a complex combination of processes that all take time. It's a miracle we take for granted until someone we care about has difficulty.