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Speech and Language Disorders - Communication Problems Can Be More Than Simple Stuttering

Speech and language are defective when they deviate so far from normal age appropriate levels that they call attention to themselves. The deviation can interfere with communication, educational, emotional, or social well-being.

People are judged by the way they speak. Individuals express frustration if their thoughts and ideas cannot be clearly understood by others in their family, school or community. This is hardly an uncommon situation, as approximately 10 percent of the population exhibits a communication disorder sometime in their life.

The problem can be more than simple stuttering, and may involve various delays in several different areas, which include: Articulation/Phonology Where errors exist in the production of speech sounds; Language Delayed or deviate development of comprehension and/or use of spoken language; Stuttering/Fluency Disruption of flow and rhythm of speech.

These disruptions may be repetitions of words or sounds, prolonging or hesitations between words; Voice Misuse or disease of the voice results in hoarseness, breathiness, inappropriate loudness or pitch. The voice quality maybe described as too nasal, loud, or unpleasant; Combined Disorders Where speech and/or language problems are associated with cleft palate, physical motor disorders, mental disability, emotional factors, hearing impairment, and learning disabilities.

How can a Speech-Language pathologist help you?
  • Diagnose and assess individuals to determine if a communication disorder exists.
  • Plan and assist implementation of therapy strategies and furnish ongoing information regarding communication programs based on assessment results.
  • Workshops and programs for parents and teachers to facilitate early referral to prevent developing problems.

A Speech-Language Pathologist can answer your questions if you are unsure of whether an individual needs assistance or is making normal progress. Contact can be made through your local school, health unit, hospital or private practitioner.


Michele is a Speech-Language Pathologist who provides a wide range of assessments and therapeutic services. She is the mother of three children. For more information, you can reach her at 257-3472.

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