The Differences Between Speech and Language Disorders

“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”

– Anthony Robbins

When it comes to communication there are two distinct categories of disorder: those of speech and those of language.

The term ‘speech disorder’ is used when an individual cannot produce sounds correctly (such as in articulation disorders) or fluently (such as in stuttering), or when they have difficulty with their voice.

The term “language disorder” is used when a person has problems understanding others (receptive language), or when they have difficulty putting their own thoughts, ideas and feelings into words (expressive language).

People of all ages can experience both types of disorders and both can develop as the result of other known conditions, or can arise from no known cause. In adults, communication disorders are typically acquired as a result of issues such as stroke, head injury, dementia, neurological diseases, hearing loss, tumours, neurological disorders, respiratory illness or side effects of medication.

According to the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists, one out of ten Canadians lives with a serious communication disorder. Fortunately help is available. All across Canada, Speech-Language Pathologists work with adults and children to assess difficulties and develop treatment plans that can help to alleviate symptoms and overcome problems.

Every day, people are improving their communication skills and thus their quality of life.

No matter what the communication challenge is, S.L. Hunter & Associates has an entire team of highly skilled and innovative Speech-Language Pathologists and Communicative Disorders Assistants to help.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at