Disorders of communication include difficulties related to producing sounds (speech), understanding and using words (language), and using verbal and nonverbal behaviors to interact with others (communication).

Problems with speech and language development may include:

  • Delays in understanding and/or using language
  • Saying sounds or words correctly (articulation)
  • Saying words and sentences fluently (stuttering)
  • Understanding the meaning of sounds heard (auditory processing)

How Communication Disorders Are Identified:

There is no single test that evaluates all aspects of speech and language development. A qualified professional will select specific tests depending on the area of concern. It is important that assessments of speech, language, and communication difficulties take into account the child’s cultural and language context, particularly when a child is being raised in bilingual or multilingual environments.

For young children who are not speaking, an important first step in the evaluation process is to find out if the child may have a hearing loss. Talk with your child’s pediatrician or another healthcare professional if you suspect tour child might have a hearing loss.

Components of a Comprehensive Evaluation Include:

  • Parent/Caregiver Interview
  • Direct assessment measures related to the identified area/s of difficulty
  • Observation of the child in a natural setting