The Difference Between Language Impairment and Speech Impairment
We may know members of our family or local community who have some form of speech or language disorder. However, knowing the difference between these two forms of impairment can be difficult with most academic and medical specialists referring to the individual condition affecting a child or adult. Knowing the difference between language impairment and speech impairment could make it easier for each of us to understand the issues our neighbors are going through. As experts in child speech therapy in Southampton, PA and other surrounding areas, we want to help you understand the difference.
Speech Disorders Vs Language Disorders
Understanding what is meant by a speech impairment is the first step towards understanding the difference between these two impairments. A speech impairment refers to the way each of us says sounds and words. When we refer to a speech impairment, we are looking at the way sounds are formed with an impairment classed as being:
• Difficulty saying sounds clearly
• A hoarse voice
• Repeating sounds or pausing during words
In contrast, language impairment can be characterized by an inability to comprehend, understand, or read words. The problems seen with language impairment include:
• Reading and understanding books
• Difficulties in writing words and sentences
• Issues talking fluently
A speech impairment is characterized by the inability to create the sounds and words we associate with the production of language. In many cases, speech impairment is a failure to position the mouth, tongue, or jaw to produce words correctly. Among the different ways, a speech impairment can manifest itself is through our inability to articulate words. Other issues we can identify include voice impairments that include problems with the volume and tone of voice being used. One of the most common speech impairments is a problem with the fluency of speech that is often referred to as a stutter.
There is a major difference in the type and identification of the language-based learning disabilities we see as we move through life. Language impairments do not always manifest as a problem with speech but can revolve around the inability to understand written words and numbers. These issues can include an understanding of words that can often be read but not understood.
Treatments for Speech and Language Issues
If a child is identified as being affected by a speech or language impairment, we often see them given some form of intervention. If a child is under three years of age this is referred to as an early intervention. After the age of three, we will see a different form of intervention based on the use of special services in an academic setting. If you feel your child may need communication disorder treatment in Montgomery County, PA contact us today.