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Child Development Topics..

You are here : home > Child Development > Speech, Language, Hearing and Vision > Speech Disorders in Children

Speech Disorders in Children

Every child has his own pace of development and speech development also differs in different children. Speech disorder is commonly found in children and can be recognized by keen observation. Speech disorders in children can be overcome by a proper therapy session. Speech disorder can be confused with language disorder but these two are quite different. Get more information on speech disorder by reading ‘An introduction to speech disorder in children’.

Speech disorders are often noticed in young children and according to experts parents need not get too worked up with it. Rather it is important for the child that his developmental chart is closely monitored and once you get to notice anything amiss, it is advisable to seek the advice of a professional expert. More often than it has been observed that the initial speech disorders or delays can be overcome with regular therapy.

How Do You Get to Know About It?

It is very easy to spot whether your child is suffering from a speech disorder. Once you are used to intently observing your child, you will notice that your child is stuttering while trying to say something. You will also find him struggling or completely unable to produce sounds and words in a proper manner. But the problem intensifies when parents consider these early signals as language disorders.

It is Important to Understand the Basic Difference Between Speech and Language Disorder.

  • Speech is the inability to speak using sounds and words in a proper manner and language disorder is the inability to express using words in a particular language. This happens due to lack of understanding.
  • In a speech disorder, the child can understand language and also knows what he intends to say, but the problem is he cannot bring himself to say what he wishes to.
  • Language disorder is more about the complex process of processing and understanding of the words and ideas while communicating with the same with others.
  • On the other hand, speech should be viewed as the mechanics of language. Language is a separate problem and should also be dealt seriously. They reflect a delay in the developmental journey of the child and can be marked as a disability for life.
  • But remediating a speech disorder can be done pretty early and fast. Its effectiveness is immediate if diagnosed early and the therapy is followed diligently.

Speech disorder in children is most prominently noticed in the pre-school children. Around 5 to 8% of the children of this age group get affected by it.

The Usual Reasons

  • When a child is born or develops an abnormality like a cleft palate, he might find it difficult to express through proper sounds and words though he knows their usage and meanings.
  • Children often suffer from a common recurrent ear infection at this age. This also leads to speech disorder as the speaking skills are primarily honed through the hearing of the spoken words.
  • If the frequency of the ear infections increases, speech disorders are pretty natural. It basically impedes the developmental progression of the speech.
  • A low muscle tone can potentially render a negative impact on the development of speech. This can be corrected through intensive tongue and mouth exercises that strengthen the oral muscles.

The Therapies

  • Amongst the innovative therapies, doctors suggest that child be encouraged to blow bubbles which will help to strengthen the lip muscles.
  • A similar benefit can be attained if he practices drinking liquids through a straw.
  • Parents can help the child by making him hold a sucker at any side of his mouth. Make the child stand in front of the mirror, vary the position of the sucker in and around his mouth and ask him to reach it with the help of his mouth.
  • Another innovative and child friendly way is to drop a blob of peanut butter at the back of his top teeth. The child will know its position and will automatically try to reach his tongue to get it. This will help him get the ‘l’ and the ‘th’ sounds.

It needs to be understood here that disorders following due to these reasons do not necessarily mean that there is a disability.

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Anushka.5 years ago
Speech-Language Pathologists diagnose and provide treatment for children with a variety of speech-language, voice, and feeding-swallowing if you find any of the symptoms then do take an appointment with Speech-Language Pathologist
Kartik.5 years ago
The early months of a baby's life are of great importance for good social skills, emotional growth, and intelligence and hence it is important to detect the speech disorders.
snehal Pandey.5 years ago
Speech and language disorders can affect the way children talk, understand, analyze or process information. Speech disorders include the clarity, voice quality, and fluency of a child's spoken words.
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