Speech and Language
Speech and Language Disorders
When a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder. Difficulties pronouncing sounds, or articulation disorders, and stuttering are examples of speech disorders.
When a person has trouble understanding others, or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely, then he or she has a language disorder.
Both children and adults can have speech and language disorders. They can occur as a result of a medical problem or have no known cause.
Child Speech and Language
Children’s speech and language development follows a typical pattern (see “How Does Your Child Hear and Talk” at http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/chart.htm)
Examples of Speech Disorders
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- Tongue Thrusting
- Articulation and Phonological Disorders
- Language-Based Learning Disabilities
- Preschool Language Disorders
- Selective Mutism (Inability or refusal to talk)
Medical and Developmental Conditions
If you have concerns about your child’s speech or language, consult a speech-language pathologist (ASHA’s Find a Professional).
Adult Speech and Language
Adults may experience speech and language difficulties for a variety of reasons. Specific types of speech and language differences and disorders, as well as conditions that cause them are included below.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Huntington’s Disease
- Laryngeal Cancer
- Oral Cancer
- Right Hemisphere Brain Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury