chapter  25
9 Pages

Speech and language disorders

ByDavid Messer

A ‘speech disorder’ is usually considered to be when a person is unable to produce speech sounds appropriately or fluently, at the appropriate speed and intonation, or has problems with his or her voice; difficulties when pronouncing words and stuttering are examples of speech disorders. A ‘language disorder’ is usually considered to involve difficulties understanding the language of others, or difficulties in using language when communicating with others. It is worth noting that ‘speech’ usually involves the spoken form of a language; however, some languages involve communication without the use of speech, as in the case of sign languages. As pointed out by Boyle (Chapter 21, this volume), the terms ‘disorder’ and ‘impairment’ are not neutral; Boyle’s chapter provides a very useful context for thinking about some of the issues concerned with the labelling of children.