Difficulties in producing speech sounds correctly and fluently and problems patients can face with the resonance of sound often require speech and language therapy.

Solicitors representing clients with speech and language disorders should be mindful of the fact that patients who are unable to or have difficulty communicating can become depressed and anxious.

Injury to the brain such as a traumatic injury, stroke, other neurological conditions including dementia, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease and MS can cause impairments in speech and language.

This can cause difficulty in articulating thoughts and emotions, along with other associated impairments such difficulty in of eating, drinking and swallowing.

These disorders can present as either isolated symptoms or be experienced as part of a range of symptoms, often secondary to major underlying conditions.

Speech disorders

Speech disorders can be classified into three major types:

  • Articulation disorders involve difficulties in articulating specific types of sounds, with often substituting one sound for another, slurring of speech, or indistinct speech
  • Fluency disorders involved sound prolongations, repetitions, and/or blockage of sounds, syllables, words, or phrases which disrupt the natural flow of speech. A well-known example is stuttering.
  • Voice disorders can involve abnormal pitch, loudness or quality of the sound produced by the larynx. Examples include vocal fold nodules and cysts, which can cause pain or discomfort for an individual when speaking.

Language disorders

Language disorders can be divided into receptive and expressive types:

  • Receptive disorders affect the ability of a person to understand spoken, and sometimes written, language.
  • Expressive disorders manifest as difficulties with verbal and written expressions. An individual suffering from this disorder may have a limited vocabulary or be unable to use language in a socially appropriate way.

Speech and language therapists provide rehabilitation therapy and support for individuals facing communication difficulties, providing a positive way ahead and improving their quality of life. It can address symptoms including:

  • difficulties in producing sounds
  • Expressive disorders manifest as difficulties with verbal and written expressions. An individual suffering from this disorder may have a limited vocabulary or be unable to use language in a socially appropriate way.
  • delay or disorder in the articulation of words
  • autism or social interaction difficulties
  • voice disorders
  • swallowing difficulties

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