What are communication disorders?

Communication disorders can range from hearing impairment to stuttering, from problems with articulation to language or learning problems.

  • Children with autism have a broad range of communication disorders including poor social pragmatics.
  • Children who have difficulties developing written language may have trouble recognizing that speech is composed of individual sounds. This “language processing” difficulty should be assessed.
  • Adults who have had a stroke often need speech and language therapy.
  • Adults or children with head injury may need help with cognitive-linguistic problems to be able to resume work or school.
  • Adults with dementia who show difficulties with activities of daily living can benefit from training.
  • Someone with a voice disorder will be limited in daily communication. The voice problem may be more serious if the person is a professional voice user and depends on voice for a career.
  • A language disorder can be as simple as a slowness in the development of grammar and vocabulary.
  • Substituting a “w” for an “r” in certain words (like right, rabbit, etc.) is a kind of speech disorder.
  • Stuttering in children or adults may impact social development and quality of life. Therapy can help.
  • People with hearing disorders may perceive sound in a distorted manner, a muffled manner, or sometimes not at all.

What is evidence-based practice?

Evidence-based practice includes three elements: one, best current evidence; two, client/family values; and three, clinical expertise (see http://www.asha.org/members/ebp/).

The fields of audiology and speech-language pathology in general, and speech-language therapy in particular is based on scientific research. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is actively developing a database of clinical practice guidelines based on sound experimental investigations.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about communication sciences and disorders at SUNY Plattsburgh please contact:

Patrick Coppens, Ph.D., Interim Chair
Office: Sibley Hall 222C
Phone: (518) 564-2173
Email: patrick.coppens@plattsburgh.edu

SUNY Plattsburgh
Communication Sciences & Disorders
Sibley Hall 226
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901