Over 7 percent of children will have some sort of speech disorder in any given year.
There are many different kinds of disorders that can be classified as speech disorders and treated by a speech therapist.
In this post, we’ll be talking about the four most common types of speech impediment, what they are and why they exist.
Stuttering is a speech disorder characterized by the repetition of certain consonants when speaking. Many speech disorders are caused by a mixture of mental and physical factors, and stuttering is no exception.
Best described as a vocal tic, stuttering can be caused by weak muscles in and around the face or even brain or vocal cord damage. In many cases, speech disorders can be caused by, and co-occur with, developmental disorders. One common disorder that can produce speech issues is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Treatment for stuttering and other types of speech disorders includes surgery, if necessary, and exercises with a speech therapist. Among the speech issues requiring surgery include a cleft palate or lip.
Usually, surgery is not enough, and additional speech exercises will be needed to overcome speech disorders. These exercises are designed to strengthen muscles related to speech and develop greater mental control when speaking.
2. Apraxia of Speech
Unlike stuttering, Apraxia is always neurological. Apraxia results from some form of blockage or disconnect between a person’s speech-related muscles and the corresponding nerves.
Like many speech disorders, a person with apraxia is more than aware of what they want to say, but can’t manage to say it. Instead, they will often make the wrong noises or place emphasis on the wrong parts of words. They may not pronounce words the same way twice.
Apraxia of speech can be the result of a brain injury but does not have to be. Many children are born with this condition, and the medical community is still unsure about why. Evidence suggests a possible genetic trigger, but not much else is known.
Despite genetic and physical causes, Apraxia can be much improved with the help of a speech therapist. The therapist will train the child in muscle use to avoid speech delays.
3. Articulation Disorder
Articulation Disorder is a long and complex word for several issues, a few of which you’ve no doubt seen or heard of. This issue comes in many different forms, but it means that the person struggles with pronouncing a certain sound.
The most well-known form of Articulation Disorder is a lisp or being unable to pronounce r’s and replacing them with ws.
Again, a speech therapist can help with this. The basic procedure is to have the speaker practice with the sounds they can’t pronounce until it becomes less difficult.
Dysarthria is a speech disorder based entirely in the brain. They are the results in brain lesions that interfere with muscles that help control speech.
Dysarthria often presents as slurred or prolonged words, and in some cases can progress to a point where the person can no longer speak at all.
Reasons to See a Speech Therapist
There are several different conditions that might warrant seeing a speech therapist. We’ve mentioned only some of the most common ones above. If you want to learn more about speech therapy and speech disorders, we encourage you to do more research.
Among the sites, you should visit is our site. We’ll tell you about some of the speech therapy we offer for children and introduce you to some of the members of our team.