Speech and language disorders can affect an individual’s ability to understand conversations, express thoughts and to form words or sounds.
Children and adults with language impairments or delays have difficulty understanding spoken or written messages (receptive language), using words or symbols to communicate through thoughts (expressive language) or using language in a socially appropriate manner (pragmatics).
Adults and children with speech disorders have difficulty producing words, sounds, and phrases clearly and fluently. This can be the result of a structural weakness, neurological impairment or immature development.
Speech deficits include:
- Voice disorders, such as hoarseness from vocal abuse, or voice quality, affected by airflow through the nose when speaking
- Stuttering, including repetitions of sounds, trouble initiating speech or prolonging sounds in a word
- Articulation, or ability to produce sounds and words consistently
- Deficits from developmental, medical, or neurological conditions
The risk of speech deficits may be increased with the following conditions:
- Brain tumors
- Cerebral palsy
- Cleft lip and palate
- Developmental delay
- Genetic syndromes
- Head injury
- Hearing impairment
- Learning disability
- Mental retardation
- Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)
For more information, contact the Speech & Hearing Center at 908-788-6424.
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