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Etiology of speech and language disorders in children

Authors
James Carter, MA, CCC-SLP
Karol Musher, MA, CCC-SLP
Section Editor
Marilyn Augustyn, MD
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD

INTRODUCTION

A communication disorder refers to "an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal, and graphic symbol systems" [1]. Normal development of communication requires the interaction of an intact mechanism with a favorable environment. The components of an intact mechanism include hearing sensitivity, perception, intelligence, structural integrity, motor skill, and emotional stability. A favorable environment is one that provides the child with adequate language exposure and stimulation, reinforces the child's communicative attempts, and holds realistic expectations according to the child's developmental stage.

Developmental language disorder is the most common developmental disability of childhood, occurring in 5 to 10 percent of children [2]. Children learn language in early childhood; later they use language to learn. Children with language disorders are at increased risk for difficulty with reading and written language when they enter school [3-5]. These problems often persist through adolescence or adulthood. Early intervention may help minimize the more serious consequences of later learning disabilities. (See "Specific learning disabilities in children: Clinical features".)

CLASSIFICATION

Two major types of communication disorders are speech disorders and language disorders.

The term "speech disorder" refers to an impairment of the articulation of speech sounds, fluency, and/or voice.

Articulation disorders are characterized by substitutions, omissions, additions, or distortions of speech sounds that interfere with intelligibility.

                     

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Thu Mar 17 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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