Speech & Language Disorders

What Is a Speech Disorder?

A speech disorder is a condition that affects a person’s ability to produce sounds or articulate words clearly. It can manifest in various ways and may be caused by a range of factors, which we’ll look at below. Treatment options for speech disorders may include speech therapy, assistive devices, or other interventions tailored to the individual’s specific needs.


Why Does It Matter to Speak and Comprehend Clearly and Effectively?

It is crucial to communicate clearly and effectively because it ensures that your message is understood by others. Clear communication helps to avoid misunderstandings, conflicts, and errors in personal and professional relationships.

When you speak and comprehend clearly, you are able to convey your thoughts and ideas in a way that connects with those who matter most in your life, leading to more fulfilling time spent with others, whether family, friends, or someone you just met.


Examples of Speech Disorders

Speech disorders include the following problems, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA):

  • Articulation disorders include difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly to the point that other people can’t understand what’s being said.
  • Fluency disorders include problems such as stuttering, the condition in which the flow of speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages, repetitions (st-st-stuttering), or prolonging sounds and syllables (ssssstuttering).
  • Resonance or voice disorders include problems with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voice that distract listeners from what’s being said. These types of disorders may also cause pain or discomfort when speaking.
  • Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders, including difficulties with eating and swallowing.


Types of Language Disorders

Language disorders can fall into two categories, either receptive or expressive:

  • Receptive disorders refer to difficulties understanding or processing language.
  • Expressive disorders include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.

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