What are speech and language disorders?
Speech and language disorders are inabilities of individuals to understand and/or appropriately use the speech and language systems of society. Such disorders may range from simple sound repetitions or occasional misarticulations to the complete absence of the ability to use speech and language for communication.
Why are speech and language disorders serious?
The ability to communicate is our most human characteristic. When a person cannot communicate, isolation from friends, family and society often occurs. Individuals with speech and language disorders may encounter this isolation in vocational, social, emotional and educational areas. For example, adults with speech and language disorders may find it difficult to gain employment or may be forced into less satisfying jobs because of their inability to communicate effectively. Also, school children may experience difficulties in learning because of speech or language problems.
How many persons have speech and language disorders?
What are some types of speech and language disorders?
Speech disorders may include:
What are the causes of speech and language disorders?
Some of the causes of speech and language disorders are related to hearing loss, short memory span, cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders, severe head injuries, stroke, viral diseases, certain drugs, physical impairments such as cleft lip or palate, and inadequate speech and language models in the home environment. The majority of voice disorders in children usually result from frequent vocal abuse associated with excessive throat clearing, coughing screaming, or yelling. This abuse can cause inflammation of the larynx (vocal cords), or the formation of nodules and polyps, which are small growths, on the vocal cords. Allergies, smoking, and the consumption of alcoholic beverages are other factors which may adversely affect the larynx (vocal cords) resulting in varying degrees of voice disorder.
How can the speech-language pathology help persons with speech and language disorders?
The clinical methods used will vary depending on the nature and severity of the problem, the age of the individuals, and the individual's awareness of the problem. Speech-language pathologists:
In which settings do speech-language pathologists work?
Speech-language pathologists provide professional services in:
How is information in speech-language pathology advanced?
Some speech-language pathologists elect research activities to constitute a part or all of their career. Their work advances knowledge about how the normal speech mechanism functions or how it malfunctions in many disorder. They investigate the development of communication (speech and language) in young children as well as how it may be disordered in this and the older population. Their discoveries about normal and abnormal communication are frequently applied to provide better service to the speech and language impaired populations.