Language is one of the most important abilities of human beings, so much so that in ancient times it was considered one of the main factors that identified us as human beings.
Communicating, expressing what we think and feel, and the different uses that can be given to this communication, is something that is partly innate, but which must form us throughout our life. But sometimes different issues may appear that cause the acquisition not to be done correctly or to be lost for some reason. So we can identify different types of language disorders. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the main ones.
All of this is understood as language disorders difficulty or lack of comprehension, expression or repetition of language in its various aspects which generate problems of adaptation of the subject to the environment and / or a significant discomfort. These problems can arise during the period in which the skill is acquired and improved, or as a loss of the skill already acquired.
Although we generally identify language with speech, and in fact it is an important part of language, it should be noted that in the latter as well paraverbal components such as tone, contextuality, or fluency are involved and non-verbal like gestures and mime.
Based on what has been said, we can see that many problems can arise in any of these areas and that there are different types of language disorders.
Main types of language disorders
Below is a brief overview of some of the most common and well-known language disorders. In this review we include oral and written language disorders and comprehension and production.
However, although they do affect communication, language disorders are not properly viewed as those that are not limited to this area, such as selective mutism (which is an anxiety problem and not a language problem, which is perfectly fine). preserved). Language disorders also do not include other disorders such as autism, although in this case they do present with language difficulties (some of which are included in the following disorders).
1. Language disorder
Formerly known as specific language disorder or TEL, language disorder is characterized by the presence of problems with comprehension and / or expression of language in subjects with typical intellectual abilities in subjects of their age, so that these problems would not be the consequence of an Intellectual Disability.
Grammatical structure and lexicon are affectedThe perceived speech is generally shorter and more limited than usual.
2. Functional dyslalia, phonological disorder
Phonological disorder, formerly called dyslalia, is a problem with oral language in which joint difficulties occur, Make the language somewhat incomprehensible and limit social participation. It cannot properly emit certain sounds and usually substitutes, transforms, and omits them. The phonological disorder cannot be due to organic causes, which equates it to the old functional dyslalia.
Dysarthria is considered to be that difficulty in the articulation of language produced by brain damage or located in nerve fibers which regulate the articulation and production of language. It is considered a type of organic dyslalia.
Dysglossia is an organic dyslalia caused by morphological alterations that prevent or hinder the normal use of language and correct pronunciation. An example is in people with a cleft lip or facial deformities. too much it is considered a type of organic dyslalia.
5. Fluidity disorder or dysphamia
Also known as stuttering, is a relatively common problem in childhood, although in some cases it becomes chronic. The main problem lies in the difficulties of fluency in speech, accentuating especially in the presence of an audience.
In his speech, the subject suffers from various blockages that interrupt the usual rhythm of speechWhether it’s a sharp start at the start of a word, several small spasms along a word or phrase, or a mixture of both. They generally generate great anxiety and sometimes avoidance.
6. Social communication disorder
Also called pragmatic communication disorder, it is based on the existence of difficulties in using language in a context appropriate way. There are no problems with comprehension or dissemination, but using the right language at the right time.
It is common for the subject not to understand why in certain contexts the use of one language or another is more or less appropriate, that there is difficulty understanding metaphors and analogies, Search for meanings or find different ways of expressing the same idea, the language being usually literal. This also happens not only with oral language, but also with sign language.
this symptomatology it is common in people with autism and Asperger’s.
7. Aphasia and dysphasia
Aphasias are all those alterations in which there is a loss or difficulty in producing, understanding or repeating language due to the existence of a brain injury, this ability being already acquired before and not producing deficits until later. .
Its infantile equivalent is dysphasia, in which these problems arise in the face of a competence still not consolidated and which it cannot develop fully due to brain damage. In the latter case, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate from other problems, because there is no fixed benchmark in terms of language skills: the child has not yet learned or has not yet learned to communicate. .
Within this group of disorders there are many variations, depending on the injured area and its effect on communication and language.
8. Dyslexia and alexia
One of the most well-known language disorders, but in this case, written language. Dyslexia is the difficulty in reading and writing that the subject has problems understanding what you are reading or performing the act of reading. Letters are mixed up and substitutions, omissions and translations are made, reading is slowed down, and there is usually difficulty understanding what is being read.
Dyslexia can be superficial (in which there are problems reading words globally), phonological (in which the person has difficulty reading by associating the spelling with its equivalent in the form of a phoneme, so that only it is read from the form of the word) or deep (a mixture of the two above, which appears next to the semantic issues).
Alexia is completely unable to do this skill due to brain damage.
This problem is characterized by a great skill for a quick reading, but usually with little understanding and the preservation of the material read.
10. Dysgraphia and agraphia
Dysgraphia is understood as the difficulty of producing written language, and there are problems with coding and generating letters, words or sentences. There are problems with being able to organize in the writing space, difficulty copying, motor problems with using a pencil and other similar skills, problems translating thoughts and messages into written language, Spell in writing, use different fonts and spellings, among others. It would be the equivalent of dyslexia but at the production level.
As for the staple, it refers to the inability of these skills resulting from a head trauma, in adults.
A problem in which the main deficit occurs when writing the content of the message we want to produce correctly. Sometimes also called dyslexic dysgraphiaThere are handwriting errors that affect the correct arrangement of spellings according to the spelling rules.
Use of a language invented by the subject, being incomprehensible to the listeners, To whom new terms are generated at the same time as the agrammatism exists.
Speech disorder in which the subject speaks too quickly, to the point that a word theft and continuous errors derived from the high speed at which it is spoken.
14. Mimicry disorders
Although they are not generally considered to be language disorders, the truth is that at the level of non-verbal language, mime can be a key part of communication. Dysmymia involves a lack of cohesion between what is expressed and thought or meaning. Hypomimia is the presence of a reduced amount of movement and Amimia is an absence of expression through movement. On the other hand, hypermimes are exaggerated expressions of movement.
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- Belloch, Sandín and Ramos (2008). Manual of psychopathology. Madrid. McGraw-Hill. (Vol. 1 and 2) Revised edition.
- Sants, JL (2012). Psychopathology. CEDE PIR preparation manual, 01. CEDE: Madrid.