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Child Development Topics..

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

Speech Disorders in Teens

Speech disorder in teenagers can be easily identified by some common symptoms. Speech disorder in teenagers can have disastrous effect on the self esteem of the teenagers. The causes of speech disorder are varied and it is important to identify the causative factors so that an effective treatment plan can be devised. To know more about speech disorders in teenagers, read on.

When a toddler first begins to speak and stutters or lisps, it appears to be cute. But if the stuttering continues till teenage, it is a cause of concern as it is a mark of speech disorder. It is no longer an endearing attribute and every effort must be made to alleviate it.

Given Below are a Few Common Symptoms that Indicate Speech Disorder in Teenagers.


This is actually a hindrance in an attempt to speak fluently. How do you easily understand whether the problem is called
? You will find your child repeating the first part of a word say, ‘milk’ like this “mi-mi-milk”. She will keep on holding on a single sound for a long stretch and utter the word for e.g. ‘water’ as “waaaaater”. Stuttering can also be understood when you find your teenager is finding it hard to get sounds together. It is a complex problem where speech gets badly distorted.


This is a mark of speech disorder where it is extremely difficult to understand anything that the child is trying to say. The condition is similar to stuttering as the flow and fluency of the speech gets badly affected. But the difference lies in the fact that stuttering is more of a speech disorder while cluttering is a mark of language disorder.

If your teenager is stuttering it means that he is not sure of what he actually wants to say. While if he clutters, it indicates that he actually knows what he is thinking and wants to say but while getting them out, it comes out in a disorganized form. This is why, he ends up speaking in bursts and pauses all of a sudden in the middle of the sentence. A cluttered speech sounds jerky and more often than not, you will notice that your teenager is not really aware of the problem.

Articulation Disorder

This includes a wide array of mistakes that you will notice your teenager while he is speaking. He ends up unconsciously substituting certain letters in a word, for e.g., he says ‘wabbit’ while meaning ‘rabbit’. He also omits letters like saying ‘cool’ while meaning ‘school’. He also adds up sounds or a few letters to words, like ‘piniano’ while meaning ‘piano’. These are all articulation mistakes and it needs to be understood that lisping is not the same. Your teenager is lisping if he is replacing sounds of specific alphabets like‘s’ and ‘z’ with ‘th’.

Apraxia or Dyspraxia

This is an oral motor speech problem where the fault lies with the motor coordination system. You will notice that your teenager is finding it very difficult to move his muscles and associated structures around his mouth while converting sounds into words. This requires intensive therapy.

What are the Common Causes of These Problems?

As a growing up individual, your teenager is ought to have the ability to coordinate the timing of his speech precisely along with his nerves and muscle control. When this coordination of the different muscles of our body parts that are involved while speaking and the related system like the larynx the controller of our vocal cords, the lip, tongue, mouth and even the teeth fails, it traps in the respiratory system as well and gives rises to this speech disorder.

This inability to coordinate that is understand language and express it in words may be caused by a brain damage that ensues from a possible accident, stroke and mostly it is found to have it roots in a certain birth defect. Apraxia is a sure manifestation of brain impairment and can be ascertained through MRI test.

Referring to birth defect, the problem may lie with a cleft palate or a problematic structure in the teeth or jaws. Speech disorder is also caused by any problem in the oral and nasal passage.

Apart from all these stuttering is noted to be a genetic problem as well. It is indeed a serious concern if it runs in the family.

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Barnes.5 years ago
very good article. It is indeed interesting to know different types of speech disorders in teens.
Jamie.5 years ago
Stuttering takes away confidence and teens who stutter have poor self esteem. Rather than laughing at them, we should reach out to them and help them.
Stevens.5 years ago
My friend is a stutterer. Everybody laughs at him when he reads out something. I want to help him out as i feel bad for him. Please tell me how can i help him.
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