Overview of Conditions


Speech disorders refer to difficulties producing speech sounds. Listeners often have trouble understanding the communication of an individual with a speech disorder.

Language & Communication:
A language disorder is an impairment in the ability to understand (receptive) and/or use (expressive) words. Some characteristics of language disorders include improper use of words and their meanings, the inability to express ideas, inappropriate grammatical patterns, reduced vocabulary and the inability to follow directions. Language disorders are observed in both children and adults and can be developed of acquired in nature.  Language disorders involve semantic-pragmatic disorders, autistic spectrum disorder, and acquired neurological disorders such as aphasia, dementia and brain injury.


Cognitive disorders are conditions that cause individuals to have difficulty thinking. Although symptoms can vary, typically changes in awareness, perception, reasoning, memory and judgment are observed.

Fluency disorders are characterized by an interruption in the flow or rhythm of speech, such as stuttering, which is commonly referred to as dysfluency.

Individuals with voice disorders may have difficulty with pitch, volume or quality of their voice (i.e., hoarseness, loss of voice).

The term dysphagia refers to difficulty passing food or liquid from the mouth to the stomach. Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing can occur in children and adults. It is especially common in the elderly and with individuals with neurologic conditions.