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Communication disorders

What is a communication disorder? Communication disorder is a disorder that affects a person’s ability to understand and use their speech and language to engage in conversation with others. Having a communication disorder not only affects the person’s, but also the parent/ caregiver’s quality of life. The severity of communication disorders can be from simple sound substitutions in speech to an inability to understand and use one’s speech and language.

Types of Communication disorders Communication disorders can be grouped in different ways. It majorly consists of speech, language and hearing disorders.

Who can be affected by communication disorders? Right from an infant to a geriatric (elder) person can have a communication disorder. Developmental disorders such as speech delay, autism, cerebral palsy, hyperactivity, voice disorders, stuttering/ stammering, cleft lip/ palate, misarticulation/ mispronunciation, learning disability, etc are some of the common conditions observed in children. Communication disorders such as voice disorders, stuttering/ stammering, aphasia (loss of ability to use language), dysarthria (slurring of speech), dementia (issues in memory, speech and behaviour),etc are some of the communication disorders observed in adults and geriatric population. Common signs of communication disorder

  • Inability to communicate in any mode (verbal/ non-verbal)

  • Inability to produce clear speech

  • Inability to understand other’s speech

  • Production of repetitive sounds

  • Unable to communicate needs to others and mingle with them (socialization) in spite of having good language skills

  • Inability to produce and sustain voice

  • Inability to produce specific speech sounds

List of communication disorders There are several communication disorders which occur independently or as an associated issue due to structural/ developmental / neurological deficit.  Some of the communication disorders are as follows:

Pediatric population

  • Speech delay

  • Hearing Impairment

  • Specific Language Impairment

  • Autism

  • Speech Sound Disorder

  • ADHD/ Inattention & Hyperactivity disorder

  • Stammering/ Stuttering

  • Voice disorders

  • Cleft Lip and Palate

  • Intellectual Disability/ Mental Retardation

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Learning Disability

  • Syndromic conditions such as Down’s Syndrome

Adolescents, Adults & Geriatric population

  • Voice disorders

 (includes treatments for hoarse voice, professional voice help for singers and teachers, voice therapy for vocal fold paralysis, puberphonia (high-pitched voice in males), voice therapy for head & neck cancer and laryngectomy).

  • Stammering/ Stuttering

  • Aphasia

  • Dysarthria

  • Dementia

  • Mild Cognitive Impairments

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