Tikofsky, Ronald S. Department of Radiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Last reviewed:September 2020
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- Alaryngeal speech
- Treatment of voice disorders
- Other fluency disorders
- Childhood disorders
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Problems of speech production, articulation, or voice, or disruptions of the ability to use language. Speech disorders can be categorized in a variety of ways, but most belong to one of the following types: articulation, voice, fluency, and language. In addition, speech disorders can be categorized on the basis of the cause—organic or nonorganic. Organic disorders of speech and language typically result from disease or injury to the structures, muscles, and nerves necessary to move and control the mechanisms for speech and voice production. Damage to the brain (Fig. 1), particularly the left hemisphere, as the result of stroke, dementia, or traumatic head injury can result in disruptions of normal language function. In children, failure of the brain or systems subserving language and speech to develop adequately can result in significant developmental delays in the acquisition of appropriate language and speech functions. Disorders of language and speech for which there is no demonstrable organic etiology are often the result of poor learning or inadequate speech and language models. In some instances, there may be a psychogenic basis for the disorder. See also: Brain; Linguistics; Speech; Speech perception
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