It is through speech that a person communicates with other people. Speech disorders, also known as voice disorders, articulation deficiency and Disfluency, affect thousands of people across the world. Speech disorders are those several conditions in which an individual finds it difficult or is unable to communicate by mouth. Disfluencies are characterized by interruptions in the speech flow, the repetition of a sound, word, or phrase. In many cases speech disorders are responsible for the development of psychosocial problems.
Articulation deficiency is marked by incorrect and inappropriate use of sounds. Voice disorders are characterized by abnormalities in the pitch, volume, vocal quality and loudness of the sound.
What causes Speech Disorders is still being investigated. But with early identification, speech disorders can be addressed to a great extent. Experts have come to the conclusion that some of main causes of speech disorders are mental retardation, autism, cleft palate, hearing impairment, vocal cord injury, cerebral palsy, disorders of the palate, learning disability and schizophrenia
Delayed speech development is a common occurrence in children who are developmentally disabled. Boys are four times as likely to suffer from speech disorders as girls.
The age of the sufferer is very important in determining the symptoms of speech disorders. Not the same symptoms of speech disorders are applicable to all ages of the sufferer.
When to consult the doctor
If your child continuously misses normal speech milestones and is in a high-risk group, a health care provider should be consulted. The health care provider should be immediately consulted as soon as you suspect a hearing loss.
A health care professional will conduct a hearing test on the sufferer to determine if a hearing problem is responsible for the speech delay. The professional may interact with the sufferer to know the linguistic competence of the affected. The health care professionals will also interact with the parents. Then the child will be referred to a speech language pathologist. A speech language pathologist is a professional having expertise in the treatment of speech problems. The speech language pathologist will work with the sufferer, the sufferer’s parents to devise a plan to help the sufferer.
Some of the exams and tests conducted to diagnose the speech disorders are Denver Articulation Screening Examination, Denver II, Early Language Milestone Scale, and Peabody Picture Test Revised.
The best treatment of a speech disorder is prevention and early identification and intervention by a speech language pathologist. Articulation therapy is generally administrated to a child with isolated speech disorders. Under the therapy the child is made to practice repeating specific words, phrases and sounds. Fluency training has been effective in the treatment of stuttering and other fluency disorders. Fluency training is a popular treatment method, which minimize the speech rate and enhances coordination between breathing and speech it also enhances the ability to prolong syllables.
Delayed auditory feedback (DAF) also stands in good stead in the case of stuttering. Under this method the sufferers hears an echo of their own speech sounds.
The article above is part of our website blog and does not represent opinion or advice of Marissa A Barrera and other staff members.