“Communication disorder” is the blanket term for a variety of speech and language impairments. While there are many names for these types of disorders, they all cover the same general diagnoses. So, how much do you know about speech impediments, impairments, and disorders? Keep reading to find out!
What is it?
Great question! “Speech impediment” may sound like a daunting term, but don’t be intimidated! Let’s break it down. An impediment, similar to an impairment, is any difficulty related to the ability of articulating sounds. In latent terms, a speech impediment can be any of the many struggles involving speech production.
Where is it?
Communication disorders are found all over the world! They include, but are not limited to, stuttering, apraxia, aphasia, and many more! Speech and language disorders can affect anyone regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc.
Who is affected by it?
6-8 million people have some form of a language impairment in the U.S alone! While it is most commonly diagnosed in children, anyone can struggle with a speech impediment. Whether or not you personally have a communication disorder, it’s likely you know someone who does! For example, a family member, a friend, or even your favorite actor/actress on T.V!
What is the most common type?
Stuttering! There are many different types of communication disorders, but stuttering is the most prevalent. Stuttering is a type of speech impediment that disrupts the normal fluency of speech. It can manifest as repetition, extended sounds, elongated pauses, and many others. Every stutter, like every person, is unique! Therefore, stuttering therapy is most effective when it is individualized to each person. Speechagain’s stuttering tool prioritizes the client’s individual goals so that every person who stutters can find success!
How can I support individuals with communication disorders?
There are so many ways to become an ally to individuals with communication disorders! Here are just a few of the ones we practice at Speechagain:
- Use “Person first” language. For example, when referring to an individual who stutters, it’s polite to say a “Person who stutters” (PWS for short) instead of a “stuttering person”. Therefore, this emphasizes the importance of the person rather than letting their speech impairment define them!
- Destigmatize! Don’t shy away from talking about communication disorders, they are nothing to be ashamed of!
- Educate yourself. Take the extra time to find out how you can support people with communication disorders in your own community. This can look like many things. Examples include, but are not limited to, reading a book on communication disorders or volunteering at a speech clinic!