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What to Know About Speech Disorders

Many people may not think twice about their ability to talk and communicate with others. For some people, however, speaking is a challenge. Here is what to know about speech disorders.

Stuttering

Stuttering is one of the most common and easy to identify speech disorders. People with this speech disorder seem to stumble over or stammer their words. Many people may stutter over their words occasionally. However, those who struggle with it also struggle with other tics when trying to speak. This can include things like involuntary blinking or muscle tension.

Lisp

Another common speech disorder is lisping. This is most common in children and occurs when what should be an β€˜S’ sounds like a β€˜TH’ sound. Luckily, this can be a fairly easy speech disorder to correct. Correcting a lisp, however, will have better results at a younger age. Treatment for a lisp can consist of coaching for muscle strengthening, pronunciation, and annunciation. Some lisps may even go away on their own.

Related: Vocal Nodules and Your Voice

Dysarthria

Some signs of this speech disorder are slurred and slow speech, little lip or jaw movement, and different pitch and rhythm. Dysarthria is a result of either muscle or nerve damage in any of the parts of the body used when speaking. There are many different reasons it can occur, and some people even have it before they are born. Some conditions that may cause this speech disorder include cerebral palsy, tumors, a stroke, and MS. There is not much a professional can do to help treat this speech disorder. All they can do is help you manage it.

Apraxia of Speech

This speech disorder occurs when the neural pathway between speech function and the brain has been lost. This makes it difficult for a person to get out what they want to say. This can be a frustrating disorder since the person may know what they want to say and can even write it down. However, the damage to pathways connecting the speech muscles and brain will not allow them to say it.

Spasmodic Dysphonia

Spasmodic Dysphonia is a speech disorder that occurs mostly in adults between the ages of 30 to 50. This disorder can be a little tricky to diagnose and may take a few different speech experts. Some signs of this disorder are a shaky and hoarse voice. This is, unfortunately, a long-term speech disorder but can be helped with proper coaching.

A speech disorder can be an issue, especially when your career depends on your voice. If you have any concerns about your voice it is important to speak with your healthcare provider or a trained professional to help you know what to do about speech disorders.

Sources

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001430.htm

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/child-learning-disabilities/communication-disorders/difference-between-speech-impairment-and-language-disorder