Communication disorders include problems related to speech, language and auditory processing. Communication disorders may range from simple sound repetitions such as stuttering to occasional misarticulating words to complete inability to use speech and language for communications (aphasia).
Some causes of communication disorders include hearing loss, neurological disorders, brain injury, mental retardation, drug abuse, physical impairments such as cleft lip or palate, emotional or psychiatric disorders, and developmental disorders.
- Repetition of sounds, words or phrases after age 4
- Frustration with attempts to communicate
- Head jerking while talking
- Eye blinking while talking
- Embarrassment with speech
- Unintelligible speech by age 3
- Leaving out consonants at the beginnings of words by age 3
- Leaving out consonants at the ends of words by age 4
- Persistent problems with articulation after age 7
- Leaving out sounds where they should occur
- The distortion of sounds
- Pitch deviations
- Deviations in loudness of the voice
- Quality deviations
The best treatment is prevention and early intervention. Parents should be aware of developmental milestones. The most intensive period of speech and language development for humans is during the first three years of life, a period when the brain is developing and maturing. These skills appear to develop best in a world that is rich with sounds, sights and consistent exposure to the speech and language of others.