A person with a speech disorder may be unable to produce the sounds of speech fluently or correctly, or have difficulties with their voice or resonance.
Language disorders involve the form, content, and use of spoken and/or written language. They occur when a person has difficulty with receptive language (understanding others), or with expressive language (sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings).
The study of speech language pathology also includes social communication disorders resulting from autism spectrum disorder or conditions such as traumatic brain injury. These include problems communicating for social purposes or understanding and using the social norms of conversation.
Cognitive communication disorders result when a person has difficulty organizing thoughts, remembering, planning, problem-solving, or paying attention. They may be congenital or may occur as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or dementia.
Persons with swallowing disorders (dysphagia) experience difficulty feeding and swallowing, often as a result of an illness, surgery, stroke, or injury.
Speech language pathologists work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.