Psychology Wiki
Speech disorders
ICD-10 F80, R49
ICD-9 315.3, 784.4
DiseasesDB {{{DiseasesDB}}}
MedlinePlus {{{MedlinePlus}}}
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MeSH {{{MeshNumber}}}

Speech disorders, or speech impediments as they are also called, are a type of communication disorders where 'normal' speech is disrupted. This can mean stuttering, lisps, vocal dysphonia etc. Someone who is totally unable to speak due to a speech disorder is considered mute.

Types of speech disorders

Historical terms

In the past other terms have been used in the APA thesaurus to to represent this term. Speech handicapped was used between 1973 and 1996 and speech disabled was used between 1997 and 200


Classifying speech into normal and disordered is more problematic than it first seems. By a strict classification, only 5% to 10% of the population have a completely normal (with respect to all parameters) and healthy voice, all others suffer from one disorder or another. Dysphonia, that is, incomplete functionality of the vocal folds, is one of the most common and can be observed as, for example, an unusual roughness of the voice. Stuttering is also quite common, about 7% of the population suffer from it at some point in life.


There are various causes of speech impediments, such as "hearing loss, neurological disorders, brain injury, mental retardation, drug abuse, physical impairments such as cleft lip or palate, and vocal abuse or misuse." However, in many cases the cause is unknown[1].


Many of these types of disorders can be treated by speech therapy, but others require medical attention by a doctor in phoniatrics. Other treatments include correction of organic conditions and psychotherapy[2].

In the United States, school-age children with a speech disorder are often placed in special education programs. More than one million of the students served in the public schools’ special education programs in the 2000-2001 school year were categorized as having a speech or language impairment. This estimate does not include children who have speech/language problems secondary to other conditions such as deafness"[3].Many school districts provide the students with speech therapy during school hours.

Social Effects of Speech Disorders

Suffering from a speech disorder can have negative social effects, especially among young children. Those with a speech disorder can be targets of bullying because of their disorder. The bullying can result in decreased self-esteem. As well, having a speech disorder can cause some sufferers to be shy and have poor public speaking skills.

See also

References & Bibliography

Key texts



Additional material



External links

  1. ^ "Disability Info: Speech and Language Disorders Fact Sheet (FS11)." National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.
  2. ^ "Speech Defect."
  3. ^ "Famous people with disablities." Disabled-World.

External links

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