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It can be difficult for parents when they notice that their child has a pediatric speech delay. But if you are among them, you’re not alone. A total of 40 million Americans has been diagnosed with a communication disorder. Fortunately, children with language disorders can benefit from speech correction therapy regardless of the cause of their delay.

It can be helpful for parents to first understand the cause of their child’s disorder. These are some common reasons for pediatric speech delays.

General Speech and Language Delays

This situation isn’t much to worry about. Some kids simply develop faster than others do. Eventually, your child will catch up with their classmates, but speech therapy can help speed that process along.

Language Disorders

There are two types of language disorders: expressive and receptive. Expressive means that the child has difficulty communicating verbally. Receptive refers to a difficulty understanding verbal communication, which can lead the child to not speak clearly, use few words, and have trouble with following instructions. Speech correction therapy helps with both disorders, but the duration of treatment may be longer if the disorder is receptive in nature.

Autism

Autism is a common disorder that causes several developmental impairments including language disorders. While autistic children are likely to encounter struggles socially and emotionally throughout their lifetime, most show significant improvement with a therapeutic approach that includes speech correction therapy.

Intellectual Disabilities

Brain injuries and Down’s Syndrome can cause speech impairments. The child would need a comprehensive assessment, intensive long-term speech therapy, and other professional care.

Speech Apraxia

This condition causes children to experience difficulty matching the correct sounds with the correct words which can lead other people to have trouble understanding them. An assessment would be needed, followed by regular speech therapy.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is usually the result of early damage to the brain, impairing motor coordination. Although there is no cure for cerebral palsy, speech therapy can help these children improve their communication skills.

Hearing Loss

This can occur before or after learning to speak and can result in a disruption in the development of speech. Speech pathology, audiology, and therapy can help these children learn how to communicate.

Dysarthria

Dysarthria affects muscles in the mouth and can result in the slurring of words, but improvement is likely to occur in time with a combination of speech and language therapies.

The good news is that there’s hope for pediatric speech delays. With understanding, support, and speech communication therapy, your child’s condition can improve over time.