Communication is the process by which people interact with one another to share feelings, experiences, thoughts, knowledge, and ideas. There are many means of communicating such as oral speech, gestures, sign language, writing, and augmentative communication (asha.org).
A Communication Disorder occurs when there is a disruption in these interactions. ASHA (the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) defines a communication disorder as an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal and graphic symbol systems. Communication disorders can affect a person's ability to communicate with others and can occur in one or more areas of communication. A communication disorder may range in severity from mild to profound and may be developmental or acquired.
These areas are:
- language - expressive (language production)
- receptive (understanding language)
- speech sounds - articulation and phonology
- pragmatics - the social use of language
- fluency - stuttering
- voice - vocal quality (i.e. hoarse, nasality, loudness)
- hearing - the ability to perceive sound, auditory processing