Communication disorders can make people suffering from them miss out on a huge part of life. Read the following article to acquaint yourself with the different types of communication disorders that exist.
The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood.
~ Ralph Nichols
Expressing oneself and being able to tune in to the expressions of others around us is perhaps one of the strongest and most innate human needs. Being the most intellectually sentient creature in all creation, the need to interact with our surroundings and respond to the stimuli therein is perhaps the strongest for mankind, so much so that any period of complete isolation is sufficient to drive us insane! The gift of communication and self-expression is both a gift and a curse, as it allows us to perceive and understand both pleasant as well as unpleasant cues emanating from the environment and the various interactive factors therein.
However, no matter how high a price the ability to communicate and express ourselves brings along with it, we are more than ready to bear it just to be able to interact with our fellow beings. Now, while the desire to communicate is something all of us are born with, not all are equally endowed in this department. There are various types of communication disorders that pose hurdles in the way of interpersonal expression, a lot of which are in the form of birth defects or are genetically passed down.
Different Kinds of Communication Disorders
Following are the five different categories under which various different types of communication disabilities and disorders can be classified. Take a quick look to get a better understanding.
Difficulties in Articulation
The communication disorders that fall under this category are characterized by inability of the subject to distinctly utter speech or verbal sounds. There can be several reasons behind this phenomenon – cleft palate, weakness or paralysis of vocal muscles used in articulating speech, motor planning difficulties, nerve damage, and issues with the neural systems that regulate voice and speech, etc.
The pronunciation and utterance of speech sounds differs as an individual matures in age. Phonological disorders are characterized by a mismatch between the level of development of hold on a particular linguistic sound system, and perception of phonetic combinations and the age of the subject. When we say linguistic sound system and phonetic combinations, we refer to the language which is native to the subject, and which is the most commonly spoken language in his / her family and / or social surroundings.
Abnormal and frequent breaks in the flow of speech, such as stuttering or stammering, is a communication disorder which usually begins in early childhood. As the child grows up, this issue can be resolved by speech therapy and counseling, and by encouraging the child to participate in speaking and read-aloud activities. However, similar conditions can occur as a result of severe trauma or emotional shock too.
Difficulties in Linguistic Perception
Difficulties in understanding, learning and using a language, is a communication disorder that is characterized by the subject having difficulty in understanding the meaning of words, correct grammatical structure, proper usage and phonetics of a language, which he/she has been exposed to since a very long time, and which he / she is expected to know fairly well. The language in question is usually the mother tongue or the most prevalent language spoken by his/her ethnic or social community.
Abnormal vocal aspects such as pitch, tenor, loudness, etc., with regards to one’s age and gender, is a vocal communication disorder which may be due to neural or hormonal irregularities. Sometimes, the vocal cords are not properly formed, which may lead to an abnormal voice quality in an affected individual.
Some notable examples of communication disorders that fall under these categories include:-
- Expressive Language Disorder
- Specific Language Impairment
- Spasmodic Dysphonia
Articulation and language disorders are two of the most common types of communication disorders in children who are below 12 years of age. These disorders can be significantly corrected if speech therapy and counseling is started early during the growing years. This will save them a lot of awkwardness and social discomfort when they grow into adults and enter the occupational phase of their lives. Besides communication disorders that arise from muscular, neural and hormonal issues, there are some that occur due to hearing disorders as well. While most communication disorders are correctable with proper therapy, there are some – especially where the disorder is related to genetic or developmental issues (such as Autism and Asperger’s syndrome) – that can only be partially corrected.