Top 10 Speech Disorders in Children
- Stuttering - One of the top speech disorders in children that concerns parents is stuttering, and the speed and degree of the stutter will vary from one child to the next. This disorder can have either a physical or psychological cause, and is usually a source of great stress and anxiety for the child and parents both.
- Stammering - Stammering is a disorder that can occur together with stuttering or alone. With this disorder the child may not be able to make certain sounds and may repeat a syllable or word repeatedly. This condition is a common reason for concern among parents.
- Lisping - Lisping is one of the speech disorders that pediatricians see frequently, and there are three different types of this disorder: neurotic, negligent, and organic. The organic type has a physical cause, while the neurotic type has psychological types. Negligent lisping occurs when the child is not taught to speak properly.
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech - This condition, often shortened to CAS, is caused because of motor problems in children. The child may have difficulty when attempting to say words, sounds, and syllables.
- Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders - Orofacial myofunctional disorders are a common cause of speech disorders, and results in the child not holding their tongue properly. The child unintentionally pushes their tongue forward too far, and this condition often disappears as the child matures.
- Developmental Expressive Language Disorder - Developmental Expressive Language Disorder in children is one of the common concerns that parents need to know about. This condition creates difficulty for the child with verbal expression. The speech of the child is often hesitant, because the child needs to formulate the words carefully and requires extra time for this task.
- Selective Mutism - One of the top speech disorders with kids is selective mutism. Many children who appear to be excessively shy actually suffer from this disorder. When the child is comfortable and around familiar people then there is no problem. In certain situations though, when the child becomes uncomfortable, they lose the ability to speak.
- Speech Delays - Speech delays are one of the top reasons why doctors and speech professionals see children. There are a few reasons why the child may not be speaking appropriately, and testing will pinpoint the specific reason for the delay.
- Cluttering - One of the speech disorders which causes alarm in many parents is cluttering, and often the child does not even realize that the problem is occurring. The child will talk faster than normal, and repeat phrases, syllables, and even longer sentences numerous times without even knowing it.
- Rett Syndrome - Rett Syndrome is a common issue, and for some reason this condition only affects girls in most cases and boys who suffer from it are extremely rare, though there have been cases of it. This condition first makes an appearance between the ages of three months and three years, and is considered a form of autism. The infant will experience normal development, then this development stops and starts to reverse itself and the child regresses.
Speech is one of the main ways in which we communicate with those around us. It develops naturally, along with other signs of normal growth and development.
Disfluencies are disorders in which a person repeats a sound, word, or phrase. Stuttering may be the most serious disfluency.
Articulation disorders may have no clear cause. They may also occur in other family members. Other causes include:
- Problems or changes in the structure or shape of the muscles and bones used to make speech sounds. These changes may include cleft palate and tooth problems.
- Damage to parts of the brain or the nerves (such as from cerebral palsy) that control how the muscles work together to create speech.
Voice disorders are caused by problems when air passes from the lungs, through the vocal cords, and then through the throat, nose, mouth, and lips. A voice disorder may be due to:
- Acid from the stomach moving upward
- Cancer of the throat
- Cleft palate or other problems with the palate
- Conditions that damage the nerves that supply the muscles of the vocal cords
- Laryngeal webs or clefts (a birth defect in whcih a thin layer of tissue is between the vocal cords)
- Noncancerous growths (polyps, nodules, cysts, granulomas, papillomas, or ulcers) on the
- vocal cords
- Overuse of the vocal cords from screaming, constantly clearing the throat, or singing
Disfluency (stuttering is the most common type of disfluency):
- Repetition of sounds, words, or parts of words or phrases after age 4 (I want...I want my doll. I...I see you.)
- Putting in (interjecting) extra sounds or words (We went to the...uh...store.)
- Making words longer (I am Boooobbby Jones.)
- Pausing during a sentence or words, often with the lips together
- Tension in the voice or sounds
- Frustration with attempts to communicate
- Head jerking while talking
- Eye blinking while talking
- Embarrassment with speech
- Sounds may be distorted (changed)
- Sounds (most often consonants) will be substituted, left off, added, or changed
- Errors may make it hard for people to understand the person (only family members may be able to understand a child)
- Hoarseness or raspiness to the voice
- Voice may break in or out
- Pitch of the voice may change suddenly
- Voice may be too loud or too soft
- May run out of air during a sentence
- Speech may sound odd because too much air is escaping through the hose (hypernasality) or too little air is coming out through the nose (hyponasality)
The Parent’s Guide to Speech and Language Problems
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