Communication Disorders

Communication Disorders

Common communication disorders include:

Language Disorders

Symptoms:

  • Comprehension deficit, e.g. fail to understand commands, content of speech or answer inappropriately
  • Expression difficulty, e.g. can only say short utterances or cannot express ideas clearly
  • Deficit in social skills

Characteristics of children with language disorders

  Characteristics
Age 2;0 Can say less than 20 single words(e.g. ball, cup)
Unable to follow simple command (e.g. give mommy, clap hand)
Unable to answer “yes / no” questions (e.g. more milk?)
Age 2;6 Unable to say short utterances (e.g. eat an apple)
Unable to answer “what” questions
Unable to follow negative command (e.g. don’t eat)
Age 3;0 Unable to express in simple utterances (e.g. I go to school)
Unable to answer “who” questions (e.g. who has given this to you?)
Unable to answer “where” questions (e.g. where are you going?)
Unable to understand the concept of “one” and take one object
Age 4;0 Unable to use connectives in sentences (e.g. Mary and John go to school)
Unable to follow commands with three content words (e.g. put the ball into the box)
Unable to answer “why” questions (e.g. why do we wash hands?)
Age 5;0 Unable to tell a simple story
Unable to follow commands with number and color concepts (e.g. give three yellow balls to mommy)
Unable to answer “when” questions (e.g. when do you go to school?)

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Articulation Disorders

Symptoms:

  • A child has reached four years of age but still has a lot of mis-articulations. Strangers cannot understand the child’s speech.
  • The child’s speech is unintelligible. Friends would laugh at the child’s speech.

Characteristics of children with articulation disorders

Age 3;0 Having speech errors like: “bo” for “boy”, “o” for “on”, “ead” for “head”
Age 4;0 Having speech errors like: “tap” for “cap”, “cap” for “tap”, “bid” for “did”, “pork” for “fork”
Age 5;0 Having speech errors like: “bay” for “pay”, “tip” for “chip”, “D” for “C”

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Hearing Impairment

  1. Adults who are unable to hear sound with 25 decibels or below,
  2. Children who are unable to hear sound with 15 decibels or below,

are diagnosed to have hearing impairment

Symptoms:

  • Hearing loss limits the ability to receive language, resulting in language delay, articulation disorders, dysphonia and other problems.

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Dyslexia

Symptoms:

  • Difficulty in relating the sound, shape and meaning in written language
  • Unable to read letters, syllables and words, resulting in difficulty in understanding sentences, topic and paragraphs
  • Mistakes in writing including mirror image (e.g. ‘b’ for ‘d’)
  • Difficulty in forming word from letters and phrases from words
  • Difficulty in writing, maybe in letters and syllables

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Neurological communication disorders

Neurological communication disorders include aphasia, apraxia and dysarthria.

Aphasia

Symptoms:

  • Difficulty in understanding language
  • Fail to follow commands
  • Inappropriate answers to questions
  • Fail to express ideas clearly
  • Say wrong object names
  • Mix up words with similar sounds or shapes
  • Writing difficulty

Apraxia

Symptoms:

  • Fail to control and co-ordinate facial and oral muscles
  • Articulation errors, but without specific error patterns

Dysarthria

Symptoms:

  • Poor functioning of oral and facial muscles, including spasticity and weaknesses
  • Unclear speech

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Voice disorders

Symptoms:

  • Poor voice quality, harsh or tremor voice
  • Too high or too low pitch
  • Too loud or too soft volume
  • Poor resonance, hyper- or hypo-nasality
  • Lack of voice projection techniques
  • Fail to co-ordinate breathing and phonation
  • Fail to protect voice

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Fluency disorders

Symptoms:

  • Inappropriate repetition of sounds or syllables
  • Inappropriate stoppages
  • Inappropriate prolongation of sounds or syllables
  • excessive body movements during conversation, e.g. blinking, shaking head, raising eye-brows

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