Book An Appointment

Symptoms of Speech Disorder - Types and causes of Speech Disorder

Is your child facing difficulty while speaking? Maybe they are facing some difficulty in speech disorders. Lets know about speech disorders, their symptoms, causes, types, and treatment

Dr. Neha Mehta Personality 21 Dec 2021
Symptoms of Speech Disorder - Types and causes of Speech Disorder
1 Year Ago 911 Reads 8 min read

Is your child stuttering or facing difficulty while speaking? Most of the time children are unable to speak properly and parents think the child is mischievous but there may be some other reasons as well. If your child is 2 to 3 years old and still can't speak properly, it is a matter of concern. Maybe they are facing some difficulty in speaking or suffering from a speech disorder. But how can you recognize it? We will be telling you in this article about speech disorders, their symptoms, causes, types, and treatment. Let's head in!

What is Speech Disorder?

Speech sound disorder or speech disorder is basically the state where the child is unable to produce the correct speech sound or produce similar sounds. In this state, the child often gets confused between different sounds or elongates the initials of the sound or word before pronouncing the complete word. 

The speech disorder mainly develops during childhood, when the child is learning to speak. It is during this time that the treatment of speech disorder is very effective as the child can easily grasp the words and sounds. There are many ways with which you can recognize whether your child is having a speech disorder or not and whether he or she required child counselling. Certain sentences can help you identify the same. We will be discussing the symptoms in the later section of the article.

What is Speech Disorder

The speech sounds are produced with the coordination of different organs. Moreover, the brain is the organ that instructs other organs to work and produce the speech sound. All of the words initiated by the body are the result of instructions from the brain. Any damage in the working or components can result in affecting the motor skills. Under motor skills, the speech and production of different sounds are greatly affected. Further, there are other factors as well that result in speech disorders. We will be looking at them in the next section.

Causes of Speech Disorder

There are many causes of delayed speech. Different factors contribute to developing speech disorders. Normally speech disorders develop during childhood, many factors affect a child to have a speech disorder. Here are some of the factors that develop speech disorders.

1. Environmental Factors

Many environmental factors lead to the development of speech disorders. If there are children in the house, they all help in developing speech. Also, if someone mumbles in the house, the child imitates them and later develops the habit. The surroundings have a great effect on child motor skills including their speaking ability.

2. Hereditary Factor

Hereditary factors also play a major role in the development of speech disorders. If there is a family history of speech disorder the child will likely develop the same. Though it is difficult to treat hereditary speech disorder if it is recognized earlier and taken care of, their chances that it can be treated and cured.

3. Having Some Hearing Problems

Hearing problems also contribute to a speech disorder. In children, if they have some hearing issues and do not hear the sounds properly, they pronounce the incorrect word. If it is left untreated, the misspell and pronunciation of sounds becomes a habit.

Hearing Problems

4. Damage of The Vocal Cord

Vocal cord has an important role in producing speech sounds. Any damage in the vocal cord can affect the production of speech. Most of the time damage in the vocal cord only results in speech disorder. Early recognition of the problem and its treatment can help in recovery and cure speech disorders.

5. Brain Dysfunction

The brain is a complex organ and monitors each and every activity of the body. Whatever speech sounds are produced they are done by collaborative work of the brain, neck, vocal cord, chest, mouth, lips, tongue, etc. But if there is any dysfunction in the brain then it affects the motor skills of the child and hence affects the production of speech sound. Parents can only understand the situation by strengthening relationship with kids.

6. Weakness in Muscles That Produce Speech Sound

Muscles also have a role in the production of speech sound. The weakness in the muscle of lips, mouth tongue, chest, and abdomen can greatly affect the production of speech sounds and lead to a speech disorder. The weakness in muscles can result from premature birth or less weight during birth time. Moreover, there can be other factors as well that affect the muscles.

7. Medical Issues

Medical issues also contribute to a speech disorder. Certain diseases like autism, down syndrome mouth cancer, can contribute to a speech disorder. It affects sound production and hence leads to disrupted speech.

Symptoms of Speech Disorder

The articulation of sounds is affected by many factors. Likewise, there are many ways with which you can easily recognize whether your child is suffering from a speech disorder or not. Here are some of the symptoms:

  • If your child is repeating or prolonging initials of the words or sounds. 
  • If your child is mispronouncing some of the words, sounds, and syllables.
  • If your child is facing a problem in pronouncing some of the words.
  • If the child is adding or removing certain syllables from the word or sound.
  • If your child is speaking very softly.

Types of Speech Disorder

There are many types of articulation disorder or speech disorder. Mainly there are three categories of speech sound disorder. They are here:

Types of Speech Disorder

1. Stuttering

Stuttering mainly affects the speech. It slows down the speed of speech and interrupts fluency. There are different interruptions while speaking. They are: 

  • The child repeats certain sounds or words unintentionally while speaking.
  • Another case is when the child knows they want to speak but are unable to produce the speech sound.
  • The last case is when the child elongates the initials of sounds or words before completion of the word.

There are two different types of stutter.

1.1. Developmental

This category of stuttering normally develops in childhood mainly when the child is learning speech skills. This mainly occurs due to genetic factors.

1.2. Neurogenic

As the name suggests it is the state when the brain is unable to coordinate and the speech system is hampered. This is caused due to damage to the brain.

2. Dysarthria

Dysarthria is a state similar to apraxia. The speech sound is affected by injury in the brain. What differentiates the both is in dysarthria the muscles which help in speech production weakens and affect the speech sound. Some of its symptoms are : 

  • Child speaking too softly.
  • Child speaking too fast or slow. 
  • The child is mumbling and has slurred speech.
  • Having difficulty in moving their mouth, tongue, and lips.

There are different types of dysarthria like:  

  • spastic dysarthria
  • Flaccid dysarthria 
  • Ataxic dysarthria 
  • Hyperkinetic dysarthria 
  • Hypokinetic dysarthria 

3. Apraxia

Apraxia of speech is because of damage in the brain that affects the motor skills of a person. Here we will look at children. The child encounters any brain damage which affects their speech skills. This creates difficulty for children to produce speech sounds and pronounce words. There are different types of apraxia as well like: 

  • Childhood apraxia of speech
  • Acquired apraxia

There are three levels of apraxia as well: mild, moderate, severe.

How Can You Treat Speech Disorder?

There are a few ways apart from medical treatment by the help of which you can improve articulation in speech. Speech disorders can be treated in three simple ways with or without medical treatments. Here are some of the ways.

Treat Speech Disorder

1. Consulting Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is a great way to treat speech disorders. Speech therapist workshop on improving child's pronunciation of sound and also make them aware of different sounds. They focus on helping the child produce different sounds correctly.

2. Doing Exercises to Strengthen Speech-Producing Muscles

Muscle-strengthening exercises which can help in strengthening the speech-producing muscles mainly of lips, mouth, throat, chest, and abdomen can help in producing the sound correctly. You can do these exercises on your own as well and can also take the help of a therapist and seek their advice.

3. Taking Counselling Sessions

Counselling sessions are also very important while recovering or going through a speech disorder. Most of the time children are bullied by their friends and even parents and teachers are unable to understand that the child is suffering from a disorder. This leads to the development of anxiety and fear. Hence counseling therapist for sessions are necessary to help children overcome this torture and fear.


Speech on childhood is a very initial path of development. Proper speaking skills development is very necessary for a child. Maybe it does not have any effect while the child is still young but it can greatly affect the personality once they grow. Hence, it is very necessary to pay attention to the speaking skills of the child. If you encounter any of the systems of speech disorder in a child do not wait for it to get corrected on its own. You should rather seek the help of a speech therapist.

People Also Read

Speech Therapy! I Need It. | My Fit Brain

How To Stop Being Shy And Quiet

Ten Ways And Means About How To Motivate Yourself

First Impression Is the Last Impression

  • Recommended

    Dr. Neha Mehta

    Consultant Psychologist

    Hisar, India

    Available - Online

    Language: English, Hindi, Punjabi

    Expertise: Child Counseling, Couple Counseling, Marital Counselling, Parenting, Self Improvement, Sleep, IQ Testing, ADHD

    Book Online Consultation Now

    Rs. 1,500.00/30min*

Let’s talk

We cover all the Psychological related therapies and have trained therapists for every one of them. Just search for your need below and start now!

Let us choose Therapist for you!
lets talk

Similar blogs

  • Harmful Effects of Smoking in Girls

    07 Feb 2023

    Smoking is one of the most harmful and deadly habits a person can have...Continue reading

    single blog image

    Dr. Neha Mehta

    ( General )

  • Mistakes to Avoid When Dealing With Anxiety

    05 Feb 2023

    Anxiety can have a profound effect on your overall health. It can lead...Continue reading

    single blog image

    Ms Joshna Akula

    ( Anxiety )

  • 7 Reasons Why Girls Reject You

    02 Feb 2023

    Why girls reject you, is something everyone has to deal with. The most...Continue reading

    single blog image

    Dr. Neha Mehta

    ( General )