American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Speech and Language Disorders and Diseases

When a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder. Difficulties pronouncing sounds, or articulation disorders, and stuttering are examples of speech disorders.

When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she has a language disorder. A stroke can result in aphasia, or a language disorder.

Both children and adults can have speech and language disorders. They can occur as a result of a medical problem or have no known cause.

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Adult Speech and Language

Child Speech and Language

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