Speech and language, while often used as interchangeable terms, are distinguished medically. Speech refers to our ability to use specific muscles to articulate vowels and consonants and to form words. Language is the ability to use a word or a combination of words to communicate thoughts, ideas and desires. A wide range of problems can cause impairments to both speech and language, from developmental disorders in children to damage resulting from strokes and other diseases or injuries in adults. At Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, we diagnose and treat adults and children ages 3 and older who exhibit a wide range of speech and language disorders. Our specialists have the expertise and technology to help those with speech and language impairments overcome or live more comfortably with their conditions.