Speech and language disorders are issues with communication and related areas, such as oral motor function. These delays and disorders range from simple sound substitutions; the inability to understand or use language; or use the oral-motor mechanism for functional speech and feeding. Some causes of speech and language disorders include:
Language disorders may be related to other disabilities, such as mental retardation, autism or cerebral palsy. It is estimated that communication disorders affect one of every 10 people in the United States.*
A child's communication is considered delayed when the child is noticeably behind his or her peers in the acquisition of speech and/or language skills. Speech disorders refer to difficulties producing speech sounds or problems with voice quality. Speech disorders may be problems with the way sounds are formed (called articulation or phonological disorders), or they may be difficulties with the pitch, volume or quality of the voice. There may be a combination of several problems. People with speech disorders have trouble using some speech sounds, which can also be a symptom of a delay.
*Child Development Institute
Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Center
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The Stuttering Homepage
Marion Down's National Center
Max Brewer was diagnosed with a mild form of autism when he was 3. His older brother, Arthur, also has autism and completed the Marcus Autism Center Early Intervention Program. “We had seen such great progress with Arthur, so we knew that we needed to start Max in the program, too,” Max’s mother, Therese, said.
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