Language and speech disorders are another form of disability that could occur at any age and be varied too. Unfortunately the individual will also be affected in regards to communication and interaction with others. This is because it interferes with an individual’s ability to make himself or herself be understood, expressing him or herself or to understand others. Disabilities that involves speech and language have varied causes which can include incidents later in life or a disability since birth.
Speech disorders are classified as disabilities even though severity vary for example some may have no problem reasoning or understanding while other have a speech disorder but finding it impossible to understand or process ideas. A speech disorder may cause voice quality, loudness, pitch while stuttering could also be present.
When looking at language disorders it varies too with individuals struggling to understand written or spoken words and often result or accompany disabilities like dementia, stroke, brain tumours, hearing loss, autism or intellectual impairment. It may also exist when an individual have physical, sensory or intellectual impairment.
People should know that language and speech disorders are not interchangeable as an individual could have one without the other while others might suffer with both. There are many ways to help someone with either or both these disorders though.
The first step is to always treat this person with respect and be patient without trying to finish thoughts or sentences for him or her. Something that is very important is to address such a disabled person directly and not treating the individual as if the automatically lack capacity to understand.
Learn that speech is not a single communication form and look for responses like hand and facial responses too. Something to keep in mind is never to urge a stutterer to start over or slow down as it tends to make the stutter worse. Always speak distinctly, clearly but still naturally when communicating as slow speech might give the impression that you are possibly “talking down” to the individual.
An easy technique is to learn to understand what the person says when instead on placing focus on how it is said rather understand exactly what is being said. Always be willing to actively work at open communication when you live with or know a disabled person with speech or language disorder for example basic sign language or communication devices when the individual is non-verbal.