Speech impediments are a type of communication disorder where 'normal' speech is disrupted. Individuals with speech disorders have problems creating understandable sounds or forming words, leading to communication difficulties. Speech impediments are not an indication of intelligence or confusion. The person knows what they want to say but has difficulty verbalising.
Causes may include hearing disorders; voice problems, such as dysphonia or those caused by cleft lip or palate; speech problems like stuttering; developmental disabilities; learning disorders; autism; brain injury; and stroke.
Speech disorders can affect children from an early age, or they may develop later in life following trauma or injury. They can impact an individual's self-esteem and quality of life, causing difficulties at work, school, and many other social environments.