1

Speech sound errors or omissions.

Children and adults can have trouble saying sounds clearly. It may be hard to understand what they say. Children will say some sounds the wrong way as they learn to talk. They learn some sounds earlier, like p, m, or w. Other sounds take longer to learn, like z, v, or th. Most children will be able to say all sounds in English by 8 years old. A child who does not say sounds by the expected age may have a speech sound disorder and if not treated may result in weaknesses in intelligibility, reading, writing, and phonemic awareness.


2

Dysfluent speech.

Stuttering affects the fluency of speech. It begins during childhood and, in some cases, lasts throughout life. The disorder is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds, also called "disfluencies." Most people produce brief disfluencies from time to time. For instance, some words are repeated and others are preceded by "um" or "uh." Disfluencies are not necessarily a problem; however, they can impede communication when a person produces too many of them.


3

Difficulties answering questions or following directions.

Children and adults who have difficulties with answering questions, following directions, pointing to objects and pictures, understanding what others mean when they use gestures, and knowing how to take turns communicating with others may have a receptive language disorder. 


4

Difficulties expressing thoughts.

Children and adults who have difficulties asking and answering questions, naming objects, using gestures, putting words together, learning songs/rhymes, and knowing how to start a conversation may have an expressive language disorder. This may impact young children as seen by limited verbalizations, older children through difficulties with grammar and making narratives, and young adults in language use, code and written narratives. 


5

Weak, hoarse or loss of voice.

You have probably had problems with your voice at some time. Maybe you had a cold and "lost" your voice. Maybe you cheered too much for your favorite team and had a hoarse voice for a few days after. Some voice problems last for a short time while others may last longer. Chronic voice difficulties may be caused by vocal fold nodules, polyps, or paralysis, resonance disorders, airflow or neurological conditions.


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