What Are the Most Common Speech Impediments in Children?


Quick Answer

The most common speech impediments in children include disfluency, articulation disorders and voice disorders, states MedlinePlus. These conditions cause the affected children to have problems creating speech sounds necessary for communicating with others. Speech problems are usually different from language disorders, which make it difficult for children to pass a message to others or get a message from others.

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A disfluency can be a repeat of a phrase, sound or word, notes MedlinePlus. In some cases, children can experience stuttering, which is more serious. The cause of articulation disorders is unclear, but it is likely to run in a family. Other possible causes for articulation disorders include changes in the shape or structure of the muscles that make speech sound and damage to the nerves that regulate the functioning of the muscles. Voice disorders occur due to many reasons including throat cancer, acid reflux, cleft palate and excessive use of vocal cords.

Symptoms of disfluency include sound repetition, voice tension, eye blinking while talking, longer words and pausing when talking, says MedlinePlus. Articulation disorders have symptoms such as sound distortion, sound alterations and speech errors. Voice disorders also cause several symptoms, including hoarseness, a sudden change in voice pitch, too loud or too soft voice, running out of the air, and odd speech. Mild cases of speech impediments in children may pass on their own, while severe symptoms require speech therapy.

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