What is a speech disorder?
Description of Communication Disorders

Communication can be any means by which a person relates experiences, ideas, feelings, etc. to another person.  This can take the form of speech, gestures, writing, facial expressions, or sign language.  Communication is an important part of our daily lives.  Therefore any difficulty in terms of communication can have a significant impact in our lives.  The following list includes some of the difficulties children may encounter in terms of communication.  

Language disorder - the student may demonstrate difficulty understanding, and/or difficulty in verbal written expression. 

Articulation disorder - the student may have difficulty producing particular speech sounds. 

Fluency disorder- the student may have difficulty with the rate or rhythm of speech.  He/she may repeat words, phrases, parts of words or sounds in words ro may seem to "get stuck" on words or sounds. 

Voice disorder - the student may demonstrate a voice difference including hoarseness, nasality, denasality, pitch, or intensity that is inappropriate for his/her age.  Voice therapy cannot be be recommended without a medical referral to rule out an organic cause of the disorder.  

Auditory processing disorder - the student with processing difficulties may be easily distracted and have difficulty staying on task and/or following directions.  He/she may be successful in a 1:1 setting but have great difficulty performing in a small group.  Such difficulties may be the result of a weakness in auditory discrimination, auditory association, auditory memory, auditory figure ground, auditory closure, sound symbol association, and/or sound blending. 

Pragmatic language disorder - pragmatic language is frequently referred to as social language.  It includes the ability to understand the "unwritten rules" of conversation and the ability to "read" other's nonverbal signals.