Speech problems

Children with speech problems

Speech is the verbal expression of language and includes the articulation of sound and words and how they are formed. Therefore it is important to focus on your child’s speech and help them where possible.

There are five common speech disorders in children. Articulation disorder is one where your child has difficulty with pronouncing words and sounds and also struggle to pronounce certain words and sounds correctly. When children struggle with the articulation of some sounds they tend to use substitutes for specific sounds, a well-known articulation disorder is a ‘lisp’. Secondly is apraxia of speech, which is where the child knows exactly what he/she wants to say but there is an interference in the part of the brain that is responsible for sending signals to the muscles that are required to produce the specific sounds. Apraxia causes problems for children to articulate their words but it also has an effect on the way they speak, the rhythm of their speech, and also the movement of their speech.

Fragile X Syndrome is the third speech disorder in children that can be inherited and is the most common cause of intellectual disability in boys. Girls can also inherit Fragile X Syndrome but they don’t experience the same symptoms as boys. Fragile X syndrome causes different developmental problems and can also cause behavioural and cognitive impairment. However there is treatment that can help minimize the symptoms of the condition and can help children develop skills through one on one speech counselling. A lot of children diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome can also experience social anxiety and will most likely avoid making eye contact especially when interacting with unfamiliar individuals as they then experience more social anxiety because of their speech impairment.

Stuttering is also a form of speech problem that includes the repetition and prolonging of sound and therefore children who stutter hesitate more during speech. Stuttering causes children to repeat specific phrases and words, they also tend to get more frustrated when speaking. Stuttering can thus be developmental and are more commonly found in children who have congenital disorders. Children who have family members who stutter are also three times more likely to stutter. Children with a stutter usually does not struggle with the production of sounds but because of stress and nervousness this triggers them to stutter while speaking.

The last speech disorder that is commonly found is language disorder and there is also three different ways that language disorder can be identified. The first one is expressive language disorder and has an impact on how children formulate their sentences and they tend to struggle more with choosing the correct words to formulate their sentences.

A second form of language disorder is receptive language disorder where children tend to struggle more with comprehending spoken and written language. Lastly is expressive receptive language disorder which include symptoms form both of the above speech problem. Expressive receptive language disorder influence how children understand grammar, prepositions, and plurals within speech. It may also seem that they don’t always listen when spoken to they will repeat what they hear. When children repeat noises, words and phrases that they have heard.

Even though there are a few different types of speech problems, all children are unique and signs and symptoms can vary between children. It is important to consider options for your child to support them with their speech problems and to give them the best possible skills, support and resources for their speech problem.

Prompt is a very effective therapy that applies input to the tactile kinaesthetic cues that are used to pronounce sounds and words. The input is given to the lips, tongue and jaw which help children by supporting and shaping their movement and articulation.

PROMPT stands for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets and is effective to help people with speech problems develop the correct motor control and movement to develop clear words, sentences and phrases.

The team at Catch Up Kids is trained in this method of speech intervention and can help resolve your child’s speech problems.