Speech and language disorders can affect your ability to talk, understand, read, and write.
A speech disorder is a problem with one or more of the following:
The flow or rhythm of speech – For instance, a person might hesitate a lot while speaking or repeat sounds or words. Stuttering is a speech disorder that falls into this category.
The way sounds are formed or strung together – Speaking with a lisp (using "th" for the "s" sound) is an example.
The voice – For instance, the voice may be too loud, or it may be hoarse due to damage to the vocal cords.
A language disorder is a problem using or understanding spoken or written words or symbols (such as with sign language). For instance, if you have had an injury to a part of the brain that controls language, you may have trouble finding the words to express an idea. This is like having a word "on the tip of your tongue."
Children may develop speech or language disorders due to conditions that affect brain development before, during, or after birth. Adults may develop speech or language disorders due to stroke, traumatic brain injury, or brain tumors.
People with speech or language disorders can be helped by speech-language pathologists. People who cannot speak at all might benefit from using speech generating devices. These devices allow you to press letters or pictures and the devices produce speech for you.
Aphasia - This fact sheet provides information and resources on aphasia, including a description, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and research.
Auditory Processing Disorder in Children - This fact sheet explains auditory processing disorder, the difficulties in diagnosing it, possible symptoms, treatments available, and the research being conducted.
Speech and Language Impairments - This fact sheet on speech and language disorders in children and youth offers information on the characteristics, education, and implications of these disorders. It contains a helpful list of resources that can provide more information.
Stuttering - This brochure explains how speech is normally produced, who stutters, and how stuttering is diagnosed and treated. It also provides a short explanation of research being conducted on stuttering and lists resources for more information.