What Are Speech Disorders?

A speech disorder refers to a problem with making sounds. Speech disorders include:

  • Articulation disorders: These are problems with making sounds in syllables, or saying words incorrectly to the point that listeners can't understand what's being said.

  • Fluency disorders: These include problems such as stuttering, in which the flow of speech is interrupted by unusual stops, partial-word repetitions ("b-b-boy"), or prolonging sounds and syllables (sssssnake).

  • Resonance or voice disorders: These are 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 for a child when speaking.

 

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What Are Language Disorders?

A language disorder refers to a problem understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas. Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive:

  • Receptive disorders are problems with understanding or processing language.

  • Expressive disorders are problems with putting words together, having a limited vocabulary, or being unable to use language in a socially appropriate way.

  • Cognitive-communication disorders are problems with communication skills that involve memory, attention, perception, organization, regulation, and problem solving.

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