Communication disorders can develop at any age. Some, but not all, will correct as part of normal development. Problems that are not identified and treated early can become more severe. These problems can interfere with learning in the regular education classroom. Speech/language disorders include articulation, voice, fluency and language development.
Articulation problems, which often appear in school age children or younger, are characterized by substituting one sound for another, distorting sounds or omitting sounds.
Voice problems involve speech that is too high or too low, monotone or interrupted by breaks, too loud or too soft, or harsh, hoarse, breathy or nasal sounding.
Fluency problems, more often called stuttering, may begin as early as preschool, although that is sometimes corrected on its own. It can also continue into adulthood. With stuttering, the normal flow of speech is disrupted.
Language delays or disorders are experiences by children who have difficulty developing adequate vocabulary and grammar, following instructions, making sense of written material and expressing their ideas verbally or in writing.
Speech/Language Pathologists can also assist in the treatment of a variety of other speech/language related disorders such as dysphasia or swallowing problems, traumatic brain injury, which may result from injury or accidents, developmental delays, which frequently impact the development of speech and language or hearing impairment, which typically has a significant impact on the development of speech and language.