Speech Sound Disorders In Toddlers
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Speech sound disorder can be treated properly when detected early. Know the causes of speech sound disorders in children as well as the symptoms to be observed, their diagnosis and subsequent therapy. The sooner the disorder is identified and treated, the more effectively the child will overcome it.

Walking, talking are just a few milestones that he crosses as your kid grows. Nevertheless, if he has trouble at some point, taking notes and consulting a doctor is necessary. Speech sound disorder is one disorder that can be seen in growing children.

What is Speech Sound Disorder

A speech sound disorder is called a slow or difficult development of a child’s speech beyond a certain age. All children make mistakes while learning to communicate, but those who repeatedly make specific ones may suffer from speech sound disorder.

Causes of Speech Sound Disorders

While most causes of speech sound disruptions remain unknown, the following can cause the same:

  • Brain injury
  • Hearing loss
  • Neurological disorders
  • Developmental disability

Types of Speech Sound Disorders

Speech sound disorders are classified on the basis of the type of speech impairment.

1. Articulation disorder in toddlers

The articulation disorder is incapable of forming the sounds of certain words properly after a certain age. Sounds from word can be lost, removed, distorted or exchanged. Bear in mind that some sound changes can be an accent and do not cause language errors.

2. Phonological process disorder in toddlers

Phonological process disorder is a regular pattern of certain word speech errors. Errors may be common in young children learning speech skills, but if they occur after a certain age, it may be a disorder.

3. Motor speech disorders

These include childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) or developing verbal dyspraxia (DVD) or dysarthrias in children. These are problems with the motor system of the brain.

Symptoms of Speech Sound Disorders

  • Difficulty in articulating certain words and sounds
  • To pronounce such sounds differently, such as replacing’s ‘ with ‘ th, ‘ t with ‘ f, ‘ etc.
  • Poor speech understanding
  • Lack of speech understanding and use of words, meanings, and phrases.
  • Look for an appropriate articulatory gesture
  • Replacing words
  • Saying the same word differently
  • The main characteristic of this disorder is obvious speech difficulty. The speech system of the child such as the larynx, lips, tongue, palate, and jaw may be weak, poorly controlled, or even paralyzed.

Diagnosis

First, the health care provider of your child will check his or her hearing. This makes sure your child doesn’t just hear words and sounds wrong.

If the health care provider of your child denies the hearing loss, you may want to speak to a pathologist in the speech-language. This is a specialist in speech who examines and handles children with communication and speech problems.

A speech-language pathologist can determine if your child has a speech sound disorder by watching and listening to your child speak. The pathologist will assess the speech and language skills of your child. He or she is going to have accents and dialect in mind. He or she can also find out if the ability of your child to speak has a physical problem in the mouth. In order to treat speech sound disorders, it is important to find the problem and get help early.

Treatment of Speech Sound Disorders

1. Articulation disorder

Traditional articulation therapy is a frequently used approach for the psychological treatment of speech sound disorders. This includes the following:

  • Behavioral learning strategies
  • Teaching new sounds to children rather than a mistake or omitted sounds
  • Repeat until the child learns and recognizes the new sound.

2. Phonological process disorder

  • Imagery therapy
  • Metaphone
  • Minimal pair therapies
  • Parents and child together (PACT)
  • Phoneme awareness therapy

3. Motor speech disorder

Speech sound disorder under 15 months of age can usually be effectively treated by early diagnosis and care. Both conditions are also based on traditional articulation therapy.

You may also be given activities and strategies by the pathologist to help your child practice at home. If your child has a physical problem in the mouth, if necessary, the pathologist may refer your child to an ear, nose, throat, or orthodontist.

Early detection of a speech sound disorder can help your child overcome any speech issues. He or she can learn to speak well and comfortably.

Early identification and treatment may assist children in resolving speech problems. They will learn how to connect easily and well.

Also Read: Ways To Help Your Child’s Language Development