Q: What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
A:
Childhood apraxia of speech is a disorder of the nervous system that affects the ability to sequence and say sounds, syllables, and words. It is not due to muscular weakness or paralysis. The problem is in the brain's planning to move the body parts needed for speech (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue). The child knows what he or she wants to say, but the brain is not sending the correct instructions to move the body parts of speech the way they need to be moved.

Q: What is Swallowing Disorder?
A:
Swallowing is as necessary to your life as breathing. Under normal circumstances, we depend on swallowing in order to get the nutrients we need to live. In addition, disorders of swallowing, particularly following surgery or stroke, can lead to a life-threatening infection in the lungs.

Swallowing Disorders in Children :
Signs and causes of swallowing disorders in children and a description of the stages in the swallowing process.

Swallowing Disorders in Adults :
Conditions that can lead to swallowing disorders in adults, a description of common therapy techniques, and some tips for family members.

Swallowing Problems After Head and Neck Cancer :
People who have been treated for head and neck cancer often experience swallowing problems (dysphagia). The severity of the swallowing problem varies according to the type and nature of the treatment, the size and location of the tumor, and the nature of any reconstruction.

Q: What is Stuttering?
A:
Stuttering is a communication disorder that affects the fluency of speech. It begins during childhood and, in some cases, persists throughout the life span. The disorder is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds. Speech-language pathologists refer to these disruptions as "disfluencies." Most speakers produce brief disfluencies in speech from time to time. For instance, some words are repeated and others are preceded by interjections such as "um." Disfluencies are not necessarily problematic; however, they can impede communication when a speaker produces too many of them or does not resolve them promptly.

Stuttered speech often includes repetitions of words or parts of words, as well as prolongations of speech sounds. The frequency of these disfluencies among persons who stutter tends to be much greater than it is for the general population. Some speakers who stutter exhibit excessive physical tension in the speech musculature or appear to be "out of breath" when talking. At times, the forward flow of speech may become completely stopped or blocked. That is, the speaker may position the mouth to say a sound, sometimes for several seconds, with little or no sound forthcoming. Finally, after some effort, the speaker completes the word. Interjections such as "um" or "like" can be symptomatic of the disorder, as well, particularly when the interjections contain repeated ("u- um- um") or prolonged ("uuuum") speech sounds or when they are used intentionally to delay the initiation of a word the speaker expects to "get stuck on."