Complete Guide to Speech and Language Disorder Facts and Resources
A Communication disorder is an inability to use or understand language and speech. Communication disorders include phonological disorder, expressive language disorder, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, and stuttering. The disorders can range from simple sound replacement to the difficulty in understanding or using language.
Child Language Disorders
A child with language disorders may be unable to talk, but still able to communicate using sign language. The causes of language disorders include hearing impairments, meningitis, cerebral palsy, chronic otitis media, Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, autism, and elective mutism. Treatment for this disorder is directed at the cause.
- Cerebral Palsy
- Communication Disorders
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- Children with Communication Disorders
Adult Language Disorders
The two possibilities of the adult language disorders are: disorder carried forward from childhood or an acquired disorder. Common types of adult language disorders are aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, dysphagia, linguistic-cognitive communication, and brain injury such as head injury, stroke, or aneurysm.
Voice Disorders are conditions that affect the production of speech. The disorders include vocal fold nodules, vocal cord paresis, puberphonia, chorditis, and spasmodic dysphonia. Voice therapy is commonly used for treating voice disorders. Occasionally, surgery is done to remove cancerous cells or repair damaged vocal folds.
Speech and language therapy is the recommended treatment for kids with most types of communication disorders. Speech-language pathologists identify types of disorder and the best method to treat them. The outlook of this therapy may differ, based on the cause and severity of the disorder.
Speech Sound Disorders
A speech sound disorder is a problem in making sounds. This disorder is classified into four divisions: articulation disorders, phonemic disorders, mixed speech sound disorders, and residual errors. Children with this disorder may omit certain sounds, add extra sounds, substitute one or more sounds, or change sounds slightly.
Dysphagia or swallowing disorders is difficulty in swallowing. There are two types of dysphagia: oropharyngeal dysphagia and esophageal dysphagia. Oropharyngeal dysphagia is a swallowing problem in the mouth and the esophageal dysphagia is a problem in the esophagus. Based on the type of dysphagia, treatment may include medication, surgery, muscle exercises, and consulting a speech pathologist.
Fluency disorders are characterized by the interruption in the fluidity of speech. The prevalence of fluency disorders is very high in children, especially in boys. The types of fluency disorders that are most prevalent are: psychogenic disfluency, stuttering, normal developmental disfluency, neurogenic disfluency, mixed fluency failures, and language based disfluency.
Augmentative communication is an alternative method to help people with language disorders use expressive or receptive language. This system uses technology, symbols, aids, and strategies to help people to overcome the disorder. A few examples of augmentative communications are Mayer-Johnsons system, Picture Exchange communication system, and DynaVox.
Prevention of Communication Disorders
Specific preventive methods for communication disorders are not known at this time. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has developed a curriculum guide for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. This contains three levels of prevention: primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. The main aim of this program is to promote investigations and prevent communication disorders.