Around 5-10% of Americans have trouble with speech. By the first grade, 5% of children will get diagnosed with a speech disorder. But what is a speech disorder, and what are the symptoms?
Read on to learn more about the different types of speech impediments that are diagnosed today.
What is a Speech Impediment?
A speech impediment is caused by the jaw, tongue, and vocal tract not working properly to form recognizable words. If left untreated, it may be difficult to learn how to read and write. Some common speech impediments that you may already know include a lisp or a stutter.
Many speech disorders can get diagnosed and treated today by a speech therapist. Some develop over time, and some are present from birth. A speech impediment may even come about because of an injury or disability.
Apraxia of Speech (AOS)
Apraxia of speech occurs when the connection from the brain to a person’s speech function is lost or blocked. A person with AOS knows what they want to say, but the brain cannot send the right message to the speech muscles. It leaves the person unable to say what they want to say.
Speech Sound Disorders – Lisping
Five different types of lisps can get diagnosed by a speech pathologist. A lisp is a functional disorder where the speaker changes the sound of a letter or group of letters. For example, making a “th” sound in place of the “s” sound.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
This type of speech disorder occurs because of abnormal movement of the mouth and the face. This happens because of abnormal growth and development of the facial bones and muscles. These people may also have trouble eating, swallowing, or drinking.
Stuttering and Stammering
Stuttering is a very common speech disorder that almost everyone can recognize. There are around 3 million Americans who stutter. Most children who stutter will outgrow it.
Stuttering becomes a problem when it interferes with daily activities. When people start to avoid certain things because of their stutter, it has become a speech disorder. There are many ways to treat a stutter, including using an anti stuttering device.
Selective mutism occurs when a person won’t speak in some or most situations. A person with selective mutism is capable of speaking, however. It often shows up in shy children, anxious children, or withdrawn children.
Autism-Related Speech Disorders
According to the CDC, all children who have autism spectrum disorder also have social communication problems. Often an ASD diagnosis goes hand-in-hand with a speech disorder diagnosis. Common speech disorders for those with ASD include apraxia of speech and muteness.
Brain Injury-Related Speech Disorders
These speech disorders are also called Dysarthria and are often due to brain damage. The muscles of the lips, mouth, tongue, or jaws are too weak to form words. Traumatic brain injury and right hemisphere brain injury can cause these speech disorders.
Get Help for Speech Impediments
If you or your child has a speech impediment, speech therapy can help. There are many ways speech can be affected, but you don’t have to tackle them alone. A therapist can help reduce or get rid of these speech impediments.
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