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Speech Disorder

Speech disorders involve difficulties with the physical production of speech. These disorders fall within three categories: articulation (phonetic difficulty making individual speech sounds, or phonological difficulty organizing individual speech sounds), fluency (stuttering, cluttering), and voice (tone, pitch, breathiness).
Persons suffering from a speech disorder may have no speech or incomprehensible speech, while others may be understandable but have a strange sound, unusual cadence, or other atypical qualities. It's important to note that speech disorders are different from language disorders. Speech disorders are identified in relation to the physical act of speaking, rather than processing deficits. Students with articulation impairments due to neurological, physical, or psychological factors may be classified as having a speech [[Language]] disorder.

Observing Speech Disorder in the Classroom

Faculty might observe the following for students with a speech disorder:

  • May be difficult to understand
  • May be reluctant to participate or read aloud in class
  • May prefer written communication outside of class (email instead of office hours)
  • May include or exclude sounds from words
  • May have hoarse or breathy voice
  • May trip over words or take a long time to communicate
  • May use augmentative communication device


Related Functional Characteristics

Articulation : Certain speech disorders primarily involve problems with articulation.

Intelligibility : Students with speech disorders may have deficits in intelligibility due to stuttering, low volume, or pronunciation difficulties.

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