Speech and speech disorders
Speech and speech disorders, communication through spoken words and the impairments of this ability. Speech can be subdivided into conception, or formulation, and production, or phonation and articulation. Speech development in children starts with associating sounds with persons and objects, comprehension usually predating vocalization by some months. Nouns are developed first, often with 1 or 2 syllables only; later acquisition of verbs, adjectives, etc., allows the construction of phrases and sentences. A phase of babbling speech, where the child toys with sounds resembling speech, is probably essential for development.
Reading is closely related to speech development and involves the association of auditory and visual symbols. Speech involves coordination of many aspects of brain function (hearing, vision, etc.), but 3 areas particularly concerned with aspects of speech are located in the dominant hemisphere of right-handed persons and in either hemisphere of left-handed people.
Disease of these parts of the brain leads to characteristic forms of dysphasia or aphasia alexia, etc. Development dyslexia is a childhood defect of visual pattern recognition. Stammering or stuttering, with repetition and hesitation over certain syllables, is a common disorder, in some cases representing frustrated left-handedness. Dysarthria is disordered voice production and is due to disease of the neuromuscular control of voice. In speech therapy, attempts are made to overcome or circumvent speech difficulties, which is particularly important to address in children.