Difficulty communicating: language, speech and voice disorders

Within the difficulties in language, we can distinguish between language disorders and speech disorders. While language disorders are related to intellectual aspects, linked to cognitive development, speech disorders are directly linked to physical problems of the speech device, as well as those of the voice.

Language disorders in children

These are alterations that, in addition to affecting linguistic aspects, have an impact on intellectual and personality aspects. Some of these disorders can be:

Simple language delay: chronological lag in all aspects of language (phonetic, lexical and morphosyntactic). He has difficulties in constructing sentences and understanding. On occasion, it may be accompanied by other abnormalities such as a slight psychomotor delay.


Congenital infantile dysphasia: To the chronological delay, difficulties are added to the structuring of the language, giving rise to anomalous verbal behaviors. There is a difficulty in the normal acquisition process.

Aphasia: Language impairment due to a brain injury. It is acquired when, due to trauma, the children have lost the language they had acquired. On the other hand, there is congenital aphasia when the child does not acquire the language, these cases are usually accompanied by some intellectual delay.

Speech and voice disorders in children

These are conditions according to which the person has difficulty forming the sounds and thus communicating. Some of these disorders can be:


Dysphonia: it is an alteration of the voice due to incorrect use of the speech device. There are difficulties between breathing and phonation. The speech models that are given to the child or the diseases suffered in the phonatory device that have led the child to acquire bad habits when speaking, are very influential.

Dislalia: delay in the articulation of phonemes that, according to the maturity of the child, should already produce correctly without there being sensory or motor causes that prevent it.
Articidal immaturity: the child has phonological problems, since he is not able to segment sounds into words and phrases and order them properly. These problems can cause difficulties in their social relationships.

Dysfemia (stuttering): it is the deterioration of the rhythm or the verbal fluidity characterized by repetitions and prolongations of the elements of speech. It is usually accompanied by respiratory disorders.


Selective Mutism: It is a problem of inhibition of speech that usually has its beginning in the preschool stage. The child, despite having the ability to speak, selectively inhibits his verbal response in certain situations or with people who are not from his family environment.

Hearing loss: it consists of hearing loss (in one ear or in both) that makes it difficult to listen and discriminate the different sounds of speech, causing delays in the development of speech, language and communication.

María Jorge Moreno. Teacher of hearing and language. Expert in speech therapy intervention. Match Institute

Video: Speech Language Pathology : Speech and Language Impairments


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