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Communication Disorders

A communication disorder is defined as a disability in the areas of speech, language, fluency i.e stuttering, hearing, voice and auditory processing.


Articulation is the ability to manipulate the articulators i.e. tongue, voice, jaw and speech muscles to work in conjunction with one another to produce clear and intelligible speech that includes all vowel sounds , consonant sounds and consonant blend. Some common types of sound errors are: Omissions- leaving out a sound where it should occur e.g. "at" for "bat" Substitutions- substituting a sound for a correct one e.g. "wabbit" for "rabbit" Distortions- when the sound is said inaccurately but sounds something like the intended sounds.

Central Auditory Processing

Central Auditory Processing disorders (CAPD) refers to the inability to attend to, discriminate, recognize or comprehend what is heard even though hearing and intelligence are within normal limits. Some signs of CAPD may include: says "huh' or "what" often gives inconsistent responses to auditory stimuli is easily distracted has reading, spelling or other academic problems has difficulty following oral directions has difficulty listening in the presence of background noise has poor receptive and expressive language skills give slow or delayed responses to verbal stimuli exhibits behavior problems.

Expressive Language

Expressive language refers to the ability to express ideas in words or sentences.

Hearing Impaired

Hearing impaired refers to a problem with or damage to one or more parts of the ear. The degree of impairment can vary widely from person to person. Some children have partial hearing loss meaning that the ear can pick up some sounds; others have a complete loss, meaning that the ear cannot hear at all. In some types of hearing loss, a child may have trouble hearing when there is background noise. One or both ears may be affected, and the impairment may be worse in one.

Receptive Language

Receptive language refers to the ability to understand what is spoken.


Stuttering refers to a disruption in the smooth flow of speech. Some common signs of stuttering include: repetitions- repeating sounds, parts of words, whole words and phrases prolongations- stretching the initial sound of the word blocks- inability to produce a word; the airway appears to be blocked hesitations- before and after speaking excessive use of fillers such as um, well, ah, etc. avoidance of words beginning with a certain sound etc. secondary characteristics such as eye blinks, facial tics, body tension *Note: Stuttering frequently occurs in young children between the ages of two and six during language development. At times this period of stuttering can last six months or longer.


A voice disorder relates to difficulties with the quality and loudness of the voice (prosody.)