The 10 most common speech disorders and language disorders (2023)

As you learn more about the field of speech pathology, you will increasingly see whySLPs must earn at least a master's degree. This is serious, and there is nothing easy about it.

In 2016, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reported that 7.7% of American children were diagnosed with a speech or swallowing disorder. That's nearly one in 12 children, and it rises even higher when you include adults.

Whether due to psycho-speech behavior problems, muscular disorders, or brain damage, almost all diagnoses made by SLPs fall into just 10 common categories…

Types of speech disorders and disabilities.

  1. Sprachapraxia (AOS)

    Apraxia of speech (OSA) occurs when the nerve pathway between the brain and a person's speech function (speech muscles) is lost or obscured. The person knows what they want to say, they can even write what they want to say on a piece of paper, but the brain cannot send the correct messages for the speech muscles to articulate what they want to say, even though the speech muscles do. make. they themselves work well.Many SLPs specialize in that.apraxia treatment.

    There are different degrees of severity of OSA, ranging from predominantly functional to incoherent speech. And right now we know for sure that it can be caused by brain damage, like in an adult having a stroke. This is called acquired AOS.

    However, the scientific and medical community have been unable to identify brain damage, or even differences, in children born with the disorder, making the causes of childhood OSA a mystery. There is often a correlation with close relatives suffering from learning or communication problems, suggesting that there may be a genetic link.

    Mild cases can be more difficult to diagnose, especially in children who may have multiple unknown speech disorders. Symptoms of mild forms of OSA are shared by several different language disorders and include mispronunciation of words and irregularities in pitch, rhythm, or intonation (prosody).

    Severe cases are easier to diagnose, with symptoms such as an inability to articulate words, searching for sound locations, off-target movements that distort sounds, and inconsistencies in pronunciation.

  1. Competition - competition

    Stuttering, also known as stuttering, is so common that everyone knows what it sounds like and can easily spot it. Probably everyone has stuttered at least once in their life. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that three million Americans stutter and reports that up to 10 percent of children who stutter, three-quarters will outgrow it. Not to be confused with disorder.

    What most people don't realize is that stuttering can also involve involuntary or semi-voluntary non-verbal actions, such as blinking or contracting the abdomen (tics). Speech therapists are trained to look for it.AllDiestuttering symptoms, particularly non-verbal ones, and therefore an SLP is qualified to diagnose stuttering.

    earlier than thisspeech disorderit can be seen when a child learns to speak. It can also appear later in childhood. It has rarely, if ever, developed in adults, although many adults have retained a stutter since childhood.

    Stuttering only becomes a problem when it interferes with daily life or worries the parents or the affected child. For some people, stuttering is triggered by certain events, such as talking on the phone. When people start avoiding certain activities to avoid triggering their stutter, it's a sure sign that their stuttering has reached the level of a speech disorder.

    The causes of stuttering are mostly a mystery. There is a correlation with family history suggesting a genetic link. Another theory holds that stuttering is a form of involuntary or semi-involuntary tic. Most studies on stuttering agree that many factors play a role.

    (Video) Speech and Language Disorders

    Since the causes of stuttering are largely unknown, treatments are primarily behavioral. Triggers often precede a stuttering episode, and SLPs can help people identify and manage these triggers early on.

  1. dysarthria

    Dysarthria is a symptom of nerve or muscle damage. It manifests as slurred speech, slow speech, restricted movement of the tongue, jaw, or lips, abnormal rate and pitch of speech, changes in voice quality, articulation difficulties, slurred speech, and other related symptoms.

    It is caused by muscle damage or nerve damage to the muscles involved in speech, such as the diaphragm, lips, tongue, and vocal cords.

    Because it is a symptom of nerve and/or muscle damage, it can be caused by a variety of phenomena that affect people of all ages. This can start during development in the womb or soon after birth as a result of conditions such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. Some of the most common causes of dysarthria in adults include stroke, tumors, and multiple sclerosis.

    Like SLP, there isn't much you can do about muscle damage, let alone nerve damage. So for the treatments, you will focus onTreatment of dysarthria symptomsthrough behavior changes. This may include helping a person slow down when speaking, breathing exercises, and exercising the muscles involved in speech.

  1. listens

    Lisp is a common term that anyone can recognize and it is very common.

    Speech therapists offer an additional level of expertiseand Treatment of patients with lisping disorders.They can make sure that a lisp isn't mistaken for another type of disorder, such as apraxia, aphasia, impaired expressive language development, or a speech impediment caused by hearing loss.

    The SLPs are also important in distinguishing between the five different types of lisp. Most laymen can usually recognize the most common form, the interdental/dentalized lisp. This is when a speaker makes a "th" sound when trying to make the "s" sound. It is caused by the tongue passing or touching the front teeth.

    Because lisping is a functional speech disorder, SLPs can play an important role in correcting these disorders, often resulting in complete elimination of lisping. Treatment is particularly effective when started early, although adults can also benefit.

    Experts recommend professional SLP intervention when a child has reached the age of four and still has an interdental/dentalized lisp. For all other types of lisping, SLP intervention is recommended as soon as possible. Treatment includes pronunciation and pronunciation training, relearning how to pronounce a sound or word, practicing in front of a mirror, and strengthening speech muscles that can be as simple as drinking through a straw.

    A lisp usually develops in infancy, and children often outgrow an interdental or dental lisp on their own.

  1. spasmodic dysphonia

    Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a chronic, long-term disorder that affects the voice. It is characterized by a spasm of the vocal cords when a person tries to speak, resulting in a voice that can be described as shaky, hoarse, whiny, tense, or nervous. It can cause the intonation of speech to vary significantly.Many SLPs specialize in that.Spasmodic dysphonia treatment.

    SLPs are most common in adults with the disorder, with symptoms usually appearing between the ages of 30 and 50. It can be caused by a number of things, mainly age related, such as: B. Nervous system changes and muscle tone disorders.


    It is difficult to isolate vocal cord spasm as responsible for a quavering or quavering voice, so diagnosing DS is a team effort for SLPs, also involving an otolaryngologist (ENT) and a neurologist.

    Once diagnosed, SLPs may play a role in assisting in training to optimize voice production and may be particularly effective in mild cases of DS. Specifically, this includes working on breath control techniques to maintain a steady flow of air out of the lungs.

  1. disorder

    Have you ever heard people talk about being smart in large groups of people but also nervous and then diagnosing themselves with Asperger's? You may have heard a similar common diagnosis for the disorder. This is an indication of how common this disorder is and how important SLPs are in establishing a suitable one.diagnostic overloaded.

    The disorder is a speech disorder characterized by a person's speech being too fast, too breathy, or both. To be considered annoying, the person's speech must also contain excessive amounts of "nice," "um," "like," "hmm," or "like that" (fluent speech), excessive exclusion or hyphenation, or abnormal syllable accents, or rhythms.

    The first symptoms of this disorder appear in childhood. Like other speech disorders, SLPs can have a major impact in improving or eliminating the disorder. The intervention is most effective at a young age, but adults can also benefit from working with an SLP.

    Treatment methods include delayed audio feedback, syllable articulation and ad training, games involving finding words quickly, practicing pauses and phrasing in sentences, and increasing a clutter's confidence in what they are doing, e.g. B. by video recording.

  1. Mutism - selective mutism

    There are different types of mutism and here we are talking about selective mutism. This was formerly called elective mutism to emphasize the difference from disorders that caused mutism through damage or irregularities in the speech process.

    Selective mutism is when a person does not speak in some or most situations, even though that person is physically capable of speaking. It is most common in children and is often illustrated by a child who speaks at home but not at school.

    Selective mutism is related to psychology. It occurs in children who are very shy, have an anxiety disorder, or are going through a period of withdrawal or social isolation. These psychological factors have their own origins and must be addressed through counseling or some other type of psychological intervention.

    Diagnosis of selective mutismincludes a team of professionals that includes speech therapists, pediatricians, psychologists and psychiatrists. SLPs play an important role in this process as there are speech disorders that can have the same effect as selective mutism - stuttering, aphasia, apraxia of speech or dysarthria - and it is important to eliminate these possibilities.

    And just because selective mutism is primarily a psychological phenomenon doesn't mean SLPs can't do anything. On the other hand.

    SLPs can play an important role, working with selectively silenced children to create a personalized behavioral treatment program to address speech and language disorders, such as stuttering, that can contribute to psychological factors such as excessive shyness.

  1. Aphasia

    The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimates that one million Americans suffer from some form of aphasia.

    (Video) What causes Speech and Language Disorders?

    Aphasia is a communication disorder caused by damage to the brain's ability to speak. Aphasia differs from apraxia of speech and dysarthria in that it affects only the speech and language center of the brain.

    As such, anyone can suffer from aphasia, as brain damage can be caused by a number of factors. However, PES is more likely to occur in adults, particularly those who have had a stroke. Other common causes of aphasia include brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, and degenerative brain diseases.

    In addition to neurologists, speech pathologists play an important roleDiagnose aphasia.Like SLP, it assesses factors such as a person's literacy, functional communication, listening comprehension, and verbal expression.

    Since the field of brain damage repair is still in its infancy, your role as SLP will be to help with coping methods and strategies. The brain is a remarkable organ, and sometimes when one part is damaged, another part tries to fill the void. That means you can also try working on activities to improve language skills affected by brain damage; sometimes this can have an impact.

  1. Speech delay – Alalia

    A speech delay, known to professionals as alalia, refers to the phenomenon when a child fails to make normal attempts to communicate verbally. There can be a number of factors that can cause this to happen, and therefore it is important to involve a speech-language pathologist.

    There are many possible reasons why a child may not use age-appropriate communication. These can range from a "late development" child (the child takes a little longer than average to speak) to a child with brain damage. It is the role of an SLP to go through an elimination process and evaluate all possibilities that could be causing a speech delay until an explanation is found.

    Approaching a child with a language delay begins with distinguishing between the two main categories an SLP assesses: speech and speech.

    Language has a lot to do with the organs of speech (tongue, mouth, and vocal cords) and the muscles and nerves that connect them to the brain. Disorders such as apraxia of speech and dysarthria are two examples that affect neural connections and speech organs. Other examples in this category could be a cleft palate or even hearing loss.

    The other main category that SLPs evaluate is language. This is more related to the brain and can be affected by brain damage or developmental disorders such as autism. There are many different types of brain damage, each with different manifestations as well as developmental disabilities, and the SLP will evaluate them all.

    Once the cause or causes of the speech delay is identified, the SLP can begin to treat and monitor the child. With many speech disorders causing speech delays, early intervention and evaluation by an SLP can make a world of difference.

  1. autism related problems

    While autism spectrum isn't itself a language disorder, it's on this list because the two tend to go hand in hand.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in 68 children in our country has an autism spectrum disorder. And by definition, all children who have autism also have autism.socialCommunication problems.

    Speech-language pathologists are often a critical voice in a team of professionals, including pediatricians, occupational therapists, neurologists, developmental specialists, and physical therapists, who contributeAutism Spectrum Diagnosis.

    (Video) Understanding language disorders

    In fact, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association reports that communication problems are the first noticeable signs of autism. For this reason, language disorders, particularly poor verbal and nonverbal communication, are one of the main diagnostic criteria for autism.

    So what types of SLP disorders are you likely to find in someone on the autism spectrum?

    A big one is apraxia of speech. A study published by Penn State University in 2015 found that 64 percent of children diagnosed with autism also had childhood apraxia of language.

    A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information at Harvard Medical School also mentions mutism, the involuntary repetition of another person's vocalizations (echolalia), and unusual intonation and tonality (prosody) as characteristics of people with autism. , particularly children. It indicates that, in general, language ability is impaired or delayed from an early age.

This basic introduction to the most common language disorders offers little more than an interesting perspective on the types of problems that SLPs work with patients to resolve. But not even knowing everything about communication sciences and language disorders says everything about this profession. With each client in each therapy session, the goal is for the people they ask for help to walk away with a little more confidence than when they walked in the door that day. As a trusted SLP, you'll reap those gains with every session, helping your clients experience the joy and freedom that comes with being able to express themselves freely. Ultimately, it's about being an SLP.

Ready to make a difference in speech pathology?Learnhow to become a speech pathologist today

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