Disorders

Articulation / Phonological Disorder

A child with an articulation disorder has difficulty producing the individual sounds of speech. They may distort sounds, make sound substitutions, or omit them. These errors can affect the child’s intelligibility or draw negative attention to them. A child with a phonological disorder attempts to simplify the production of speech by doing things like leaving off the final consonants of words, omitting syllables, or making errors with classes of sounds (for example, sounds that are made in the front of the mouth) instead of one or two individual sounds.

Autism / Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD)

PDD is an umbrella term for a group of disorders that are characterized by developmental deficits in the areas of communication and social skills, as well as displaying stereotyped and repetitive behaviors. Autism is included under this umbrella along with Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintigrative Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and PDD-NOS (not otherwise specified).

Receptive & Expressive Language Delays

Children with receptive and or expressive language delays have difficulty with comprehending (receptive) or producing (expressive) language at the age they would be expected to, based on typical language development milestones.

Developmental Apraxia of Speech (DAS)

A child with DAS has difficulty planning and carrying out the sequence of movements with the articulators (lips, tongue, etc.) needed for intelligible speech. DAS is a motor programming speech disorder.

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning disability characterized by difficulty with written language, especially in the areas of reading and spelling.

Stuttering

A child who stutters displays a higher number of pauses, repetitions, and prolongations in their speech than normally fluent children do.

ADD / ADHD

Children with ADD/ADHD display difficulty with maintaining attention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. This can affect their performance in school as they have difficulty listening, following instructions, and completing tasks. They may also speak out of turn and interrupt conversations, affecting their ability to communicate appropriately.

Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disabilities include any mental and/or physical impairment that are likely to continue and that develop prior to 22 years of age. A developmental disability may affect receptive/expressive language, learning ability, and the ability to take care of oneself.

Down’s Syndrome

Down’s Syndrome is a syndrome caused by the occurrence of chromosom 21 three times in some or all cells of the body. The varying severity levels may include mental retardation, hearing loss, speech impairments, and typical facial and physical characteristics (e.g., flat hypoplastic face, thick tongue, small round ears, broad hands and feet, prominent epicanthic skin folds, and overall retarded growth).

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)

CAPD involves difficulty attending to, discriminating, recognizing, and comprehending auditory information given normal hearing and intelligence. Children with CAPD may also exhibit expressive and receptive language disorders.

Learning Disability

A learning disability (LD) is a disorder that affects a child’s abilities in thinking, listening, reading, writing, and spelling. Most children with LD exhibit average or above average intelligence. Some typical learning disabilities include dyslexia (difficulty with reading and other language-based tasks), dyscalcula (difficulty with mathematical concepts and calculations), dysgraphia (difficulty with writing and fine motor skills).

Myofunctional Disorder / Tongue Thrust

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD) or tongue thrust is the forward movement of the tongue in an exaggerated way during speech and/or swallowing. Although this movement is seen in infant swallowing, it can disrupt normal swallowing and speech sound production in older children.

Swallowing Disorders / Dysphagia

Dysphagia is any difficulty with swallowing that can result from a variety of conditions (e.g., stroke, head injury, degenerative disease, etc.) Symptoms of a swallowing disorder may include coughing, wet/gurgly voice after eating/drinking, extra effort to chew/swallow, recurrent pneumonia, weight loss/dehydration. Dysphagia may result in aspiration leading to pneumonia, decreased enjoyment of eating, and poor nutrition/dehydration.

Dysarthria

Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder resulting from a stroke, brain injury, or degenerative disease. It is characterized by weakness of the face, mouth, and respiratory system and symptoms may include slurred speech, soft voice, slow or fast rate of speech, abnormal intonation, hoarseness, breathiness, decreased saliva control, and difficulty with chewing and/or swallowing.

Aphasia

Aphasia is a communication disorder resulting from damage to the areas of the brain used for language and may result in difficulties with speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Some people may have trouble using words/sentences (expressive aphasia), some have trouble understanding others (receptive aphasia), while some people have difficulties in both areas (global aphasia).

Apraxia

Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder resulting in difficulty sequencing sounds in syllables and words. Although people with apraxia know the words they want to say, incoordination of muscle movements results in the wrong sounds or words being produced. People with apraxia of speech have difficulty imitating speech sounds and non speech movements. They make inconsistent errors, have a slow rate of speech, and in severe cases are unable to produce sound at all.

Stuttering

Stuttering is a disorder of speech fluency that begins during childhood. It can last into adulthood and throughout life. Stuttering is characterized by disfluencies or disruptions in speech sound production such as repetitions of words or parts of words, prolongations of speech sounds, and/or speech sounds that become blocked or stopped altogether. Stuttering often impacts a person’s daily communication activities such as participating in group discussions and talking on the phone.

Voice

Voice disorders may be the result of physical disease, vocally abusive behaviors, or laryngeal trauma. Various symptoms may include abnormal loudness, pitch, and/or resonance. Some voice disorders may require medical treatment, others may require behavioral intervention, while still others may require a combination of treatment options.

Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological syndrome that is characterized by tremor, rigidity, and slowness of movement. These symptoms affect a person’s ability to communicate by resulting in a soft voice, monotone voice, rapid rate of speech, and decreased intelligibility. Parkinson’s also often causes problems with swallowing.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS is a neurological disease that is characterized by weakness and in-coordination which can affect the muscles needed to produce speech.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury may fall under one of two main types including penetrating (e.g., object enters and damages particular parts of the brain) and closed head injuries (e.g., blow to the head such as from a car accident). People who have suffered from TBI may exhibit difficulties in attention, thought organization, problem solving, memory, reasoning, and executive functions as well as social communication skills.

Mild Head Injury

Mild head injury or “Post Concussive Syndrome (PCS)” may result in the following symptoms: headache, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, impaired memory and concentration, slow processing, insomnia, and lowered tolerance for noise and light. It is sometimes divided into early PCS (first several weeks) and late PCS (after 6 months).