Speech Impediments

By: Jeanette Smith

Speech impediments are communication disorders in which the problem lies in the production of the verbal words, and thus interferring with a person's ability to interact socially. Several types of problems that can occur in cognitive communication disorders including: articulation (pronounciation of words), fluency (rhythm of the language), and vocal (pitch/quality of sound) disorders. A person can develop speech-language disorders because of hearing problems, aphasia (or loss due to a stroke or brain damage), learning disabilities, birth defects (ie cleft palate), dysphagia (swallowing disorders that can be improved with the help of a speech-language pathologist) , drug abuse, respiratory problems and various other forms of brain damage (strokes, accidents, tumors, leisions, and disease). Basically, there are two major kinds of speech disorders: those of natural causes and those resulting from some sort of injury. Childhood speech impairments typically are from natural causes, but it is important to catch the problem early to prevent it from growing worse. Though interestingly enough difficulties in verbal language does not necessarily translate into an impairment in the development of print knowledge . It is encouraging to note that childhood apaxia of speech can be improved with therapy and training in phonological awareness. On the other hand, speech disorders resulting from injury to the brain are more problematic and can be signs of more serious medical/mental problems. Which is why simple speech therapy works for some, but other people have to go through their hospital to receive adequate care.

If you are looking for what therapy will best fulfill your specific needs: First you must get a complete understanding at what exactly speech-language pathologists do and what certifications they require, and there is no better place to look than the Department of Labor . Then, look at whether you need the comprehensive care of a hospital, such as Rome Memorial Hospital , which focuses on communication problems as they relate to other more serious health concerns. That way you can scope out all the options available to you and decide on the best possible one.

Now it is obvious that although speech impairments may hinder, they by no means stop a person from effectively communicating. Primarily since verbal exchanges are not the only way people interact. Luckly, for those with severe speech trouble, communication skills also extend to paraverbal and nonverbal messages, which are generally interpreted with greater importance than the actual words being spoken. And honestly there in much more to linguistics than individual words. Syntax, semantics, morphology, pragmatics, as well as context are all equally important, if not more so, than the actual phonetic production of words. So therefore, speech impediments, though a curious cognitive phenomena, does not necessarily mean an unability to effectively communicate.