Acquired Communication Disorders in children and adults

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Communication is the activity of sending and recieving meaningful information. It has a great role in our lives because it helps us to express our thoughts, hopes and feelings. However, many people have difficulties in communicating. Disorders of nonverbal and verbal communication include hearing, speech and language processing problems. Acquired communication disorders are caused by expressive and receptive language disorders, hearing disorders, psychiatric conditions and cognitive dysfunction, but in many cases, the cause is unknown.

Communication disorders may range from simple sound substitution or repetitons to the complete inability to understand and use language. Dysfluency is a speech disorder category. Dysfluency may include cluttering, stuttering, lisp, oesophageal voice, speech sound disorder and dysarthria. Stuttering, also known as stammering, occurs during language development, between the ages of two and six. Probably this is one of the most serious dysfluences that includes involuntary repetitions of speech sounds, words and phrases, involuntary pauses and prolongations of vowels and semivowels. Articulation difficulties are characterized as difficulties with the way sounds are formed and strung together.

Language disorders are conditions that involve problems in the processing linguistic information. Aphasia is a language disorder marked by a difficulty to comprehend or express language in its spoken or written form, but does not affect intelligence. This condition is usually caused by head injury, stroke or other neurological problems. For the most of aphasia patients it is possible to recover some or most skills, but the improvement depends on the cause, type, patient’s health, motivation and agee. There are four known types of aphasia: global, receptive, expressive and anomic.

It is known that speech and language development is the most intense during the first three years of life. Augmentative and alternative  devices may also help children and adults with communication difficulties.   The key to the successful treatment of acquired communication disorders is early intervention and prevention.

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