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- 19 - Nov - 2023
- by Dr. Neha Mehta
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
There are many types of articulation disorder or speech disorder. Mainly there are three categories of speech sound disorder. They are here:
Stuttering mainly affects the speech. It slows down the speed of speech and interrupts fluency. There are different interruptions while speaking. They are:
There are two different types of stutter.
This category of stuttering normally develops in childhood mainly when the child is learning speech skills. This mainly occurs due to genetic factors.
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.
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 :
There are different types of dysarthria like:
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:
There are three levels of apraxia as well: mild, moderate, severe.
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.
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.
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.
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.