We convey meaning through verbal and non-verbal communication. Regardless of language, we speak using vowel and consonant sounds that form into words. There is a lot of information that we convey through speech unintentionally. For example, our speech can convey age, sex, regional accents, education, and health. As you can begin to see, speech is an important part of the human experience. Being able to speak and understand others is crucial to our social wellbeing.
Speech disorders and conditions that affect our ability to speak can have a big impact on us. Problems that affect speaking ability can be mild (lisping), medium (bronchitis), or severe (paralysis). Therapy and counseling can correct mild speaking problems. Surgery and medication can correct some of the more severe speaking problems. Typically, our left brain handles language. Those with damage to the left brain tend to have difficulty with grammar and syntax. Additionally, damage to a specific part of the brain, Wernicke's area, results in poor language comprehension.