41.8 percent of 3–10 year old children are affected with some type of speech impairment. 13.6 percent of them had language challenges, 6.3% had vocal problems, and 4.3% had issues swallowing. If unaware of these problems, you might mistake your child for laziness or acting out.
An understanding of this pediatric speech disorder is half of the battle. It will point you to the proper treatment for childhood speech problems. Not to worry, we are here to help; keep reading to learn more about speech issues.
What Speech Issues Can Children Experience?
Children who stutter know what they want to say, yet, the words do not come out easily. They may repeat a phrase, sound, or stretch out a word. Some children may have difficulty with specific sounds.
For example, “Ss” and “Zs” are difficult for children with lisps. They employ the “th” sound in place of the “s” or “z” sound. Other children have difficulty just with words including “Rs.”
How Are Words Produced?
We first construct an idea in our minds. This concept is transformed into a language-related code in the brain. After a thought turns into a language, the brain sends a signal to the muscles that govern speech.
This instructs them to move and produce the appropriate sounds. Then, the muscles of the lips, face, neck, tongue, and throat contract to make words. Any gap or halt in this process is knowns as dysfluency.
What is Dysfluency?
Sometimes, people have problems articulating their thoughts. It’s common to fumble over a word or two.
Dysfluency becomes a speech issue when it interferes with normal conversation. A person may have difficulty expressing their views. It can also result in shame and dissatisfaction.
Why do children have speech difficulties?
Doctors and scientists are uncertain as to why certain children have difficulty speaking. Most believe speech issues are abnormal interactions between the brain and the body.
Many feel stuttering may have a genetic basis. This indicates that a trait, dysfluency, is genetically transmitted. Stuttering children are three times more likely to have a close relative who stutters than normal ones.
How Are Speech Disorders Identified?
Your primary care physician may recommend a pediatric speech therapist. You can find one here: https://toddlertalk.com/blog/how-to-find-a-pediatric-speech-therapist-near-me
They can come directly to the school to speak with your child. They may request that your child read aloud, enunciate certain words, or speak.
In some cases, there’s a hearing test with an audiologist. Why would a hearing test be necessary? Because your child may have difficulty hearing themselves, thus mispronouncing the words.
What Treatments Exist for Speech Disorders?
The speech and language therapist will discuss the test findings with you. The therapy session will train your child to speak through various exercises. It will also provide you with valuable tips for helping them improve.
The therapist will also offer home-based exercises for your child. Practicing will enhance their abilities and aid them in ordinary conversation. They will learn alternative methods to produce sounds to talk more effectively.
More Thoughts on Speech Issues
If your child has difficulty speaking, don’t blame them. Take the time to understand their struggles and talk to your provider. Once you pinpoint the diagnosis of why your child won’t talk or why they are stuttering, life get easier.
You can work with a pediatric speech therapist to get your child back on track. It’s normal to want to know more; we are here to help. Check out our blog posts for more info on childhood speech issues.