Types of Speech and Language Disorders

A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.

Speech disorders include:

  • Articulation disorders: difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly to the point that listeners can’t understand what’s being said.
  • Fluency disorders: problems such as stuttering, 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: 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.
  • Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders: these include difficulties with drooling, eating, and swallowing.

Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive:

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

 

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