Is Your Child Suffering From Speech Problems?

When your child is just learning to talk, they may have stuttered. As a child, it would seem cute but if that continues when the child is getting older, it is speech problem. There are more than 3 million Americans who have speech problems related to stuttering. Stuttering is one of the several conditions that affect a person’s ability to speak clearly.

Stuttering interferes with fluent speech. An individual who stutters may repeat the first part of a word. He may also hold a single sound for a long time. Some people having speech problems and who stutter have trouble in getting sounds altogether. Stuttering is a complex thing and can affect speech in many different ways.

Another speech problem is cluttering. This makes a person’s speech difficult to understand. Cluttering affects the fluency, or flow of a person’s speech like stuttering. People who clutter may speak in bursts or pause at unexpected places. The rhythm of cluttered speech may sound jerky. The speaker often seems unaware of the problem. There can be articulation disorders which can encompass a wide range of errors people make when they are talking.

Lisping and Apraxia
Lisping is another speech disorder which refers to a specific substitution involving the letters “s” and “z. Apraxia which is also known as oral-motor speech disorder is a problem with motor coordination. An individual with this speech problem has difficulty moving the muscles and structures which is required to form speech sounds into words.

Producing fluent speech without errors is actually a complicated process. When we speak, we must coordinate many muscles from different parts of the body and systems. This includes the larynx, which contains the vocal cords; there are also teeth, lips, tongue, and mouth; and the respiratory system which contributes to your speech. Having a normal speech may look effortless. However normal speech requires precise timing, nerve, and muscle control so that you can speak without any hassle. The ability to understand a language and produce speech is also coordinated by the functions of brain. When there is brain damage for a person from an accident, or there is a stroke or birth defect, it may lead to have speech and language problems. Apraxia is considered to be caused due to brain impairment. This impairment may not show up on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests.

Some people having speech problems, more so with articulation disorders may have hearing problems too. There can be even mild hearing loss and this may have an impact on how a person reproduces the sounds they hear. Certain birth defects like cleft palate can also interfere with a person’s ability to produce speech. When an individual has a cleft palate, there is a hole in the roof of the mouth. This affects the movement of air through the oral and nasal passages.