Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Causes Of Speech And Language Impairment

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Whats The Difference Between A Speech Impediment And A Language Disorder

What Causes Speech And Language Disorders?

A speech impediment happens when your childs mouth, jaw, tongue and vocal tract cant work together to produce recognizable words. A language disorder happens when your child has trouble understanding what’s being said or people have trouble understanding what your child is saying. For example, your child might use one word when they mean to use another word. They might also say words out of order.

Development Of Speech And Language Skills In Childhood

Speech and language skills develop in childhood according to fairly well-defined milestones . Parents and other caregivers may become concerned if a childs language seems noticeably behind the language of same-aged peers. This may motivate parents to investigate further and, eventually, to have the child evaluated by a professional.


More on the Milestones of Language Development

What are the milestones of typical speech-language development? What level of communication skill does a typical 8-month-old baby have, or a 18-month-old, or a child whos just celebrated his or her fourth birthday?

Youll find these expertly described in How Does Your Child Hear and Talk?, a series of resource pages available online at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association :


Having the childs hearing checked is a critical first step. The child may not have a speech or language impairment at all but, rather, a hearing impairment that is interfering with his or her development of language.

Health Issues That Affect Speech Impairment

Other than childhood speech impairments, there are a range of reasons you could get one in your adult years. They can happen due to a traumatic event, illness, or surgery.

Dysarthria, aphasia, and voice disturbances can happen in adulthood, and are usually due to these medical events.

Aphasia. Aphasia is the loss of ability to understand words, spoken or written. There are many types of aphasia. It can happen after a stroke or if a tumor reaches the part of the brain where language is processed.

Medical issues that can cause aphasia:

  • Dentures that donât fit properly
  • Transient ischemic attack â

Voice disturbances. Traumatic events or extreme stress placed on the vocal cords can cause you to âloseâ your voice or have a vocal disturbance. Disease can also affect the way your voice sounds.

Cancerous or noncancerous growths or nodules on the vocal cords can make your voice sound different.

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Diagnosis Of Speech Impairment

When speech impairment appears suddenly, seek immediate medical attention. When it develops more gradually, you need to see your doctor for testing, in case there is an underlying condition as the cause.

You may experience speech impairment after using your voice too much or after an infection, but prolonged impairment requires attention and testing for diagnosis. Your doctor will start with a physical examination and discuss your medical history and symptoms. They will also talk with you to evaluate your speech during a discussion and to determine your level of comprehension and speaking ability.

In addition to this, testing can be done to attempt to identify possible underlying causes. The most common tests include:

Blood tests MRI, CT, and x-Ray scans Urine tests

It may also be necessary for you to follow up with specialists such as a neurologist, speech pathologist, or otolaryngologist for more detailed testing and analysis.

Types Of Speech Impairments

Pin by Nicole Jarvis on Aspergers

Speech impairments can begin in childhood and carry on through your adult years. Others can happen due to trauma, or after a medical event like a stroke.

The types of speech impairments are:

  • Childhood apraxia of speech. This can happen to children when itâs time for them to start talking. The brainâs signals donât communicate with the mouth, so the child canât move their lips and tongue in the way theyâre mean to.
  • Dysarthria. This type of speech impairment happens when the muscles you use to talk are too weak, and canât form words properly.
  • Orofacial myofunctional disorders . OMDs are characterized by an abnormal pattern of facial muscle use. OMD interferes with how the facial muscles, including the tongue, are used. People who suffer from OMD might also struggle to breathe through their nose.
  • Speech sound disorders. Itâs normal for children to struggle to pronounce certain sounds as they learn to talk. But after ages four or five, constant mispronunciation might signal a problem. It can continue into adulthood, or some people get it after a stroke.
  • Stuttering. Stuttering can mean repeating words or sounds like âuhâ and âumâ involuntarily. Stuttering can be intensified by strong emotions or stress.
  • Voice. A voice disorder can mean you âlostâ your voice because you stressed it too much. It can also mean a chronic cough or paralysis of the vocal cords, among others.

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What Is A Specific Language Impairment

Specific Language Impairment is a term for a developmental language disorder that occurs when language skills do not develop as they should, and these challenges cannot be attributed to other developmental conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, traumatic brain injury, apraxia or speech or hearing loss. SLI is also sometimes referred to as childhood dysphasia or developmental language disorder and is typically attributed to a language processing disorder. Studies have shown that SLI is detected in 5-10% of preschool-aged children.

Getting support for a child who is struggling with the development of their language skills is essential. Without help, a child with an SLI will likely struggle to succeed in school, as well as in social situations. Dont wait to get help for your child, get started by scheduling your free introductory call with Great Speech today!

In The United States Of America

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, the federal government has defined a speech or language impairment as “a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, which adversely affects a child’s learning”. In order to qualify in the educational system as having a speech or language impairment, the child’s speech must be either unintelligible much of the time or he/she must have been professionally diagnosed as having either a speech impairment or language delay which requires intervention. Additionally, IDEA 2004 contains an exclusionary clause that stipulates that a speech or language impairment may not be either cultural, ethnic, bilingual, or dialectical differences in language, temporary disorders , or delayed abilities in producing the most difficult linguistic sounds in a child’s age range.

For children with language disorders, professionals often relate the treatment plans to classroom content, such as classroom textbooks or presentation assignments. The professional teaches various strategies to the child, and the child works to apply them effectively in the classroom. For success in the educational environment, it is imperative that the SLP or other speech-language professional have a strong, positive rapport with the teacher.

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When To See Your Doctor

The gradual development of speech impairment can be caused by a number of conditions or factors that can be effectively treated once identified.

If you notice the sudden onset of any speech impairment, you need to seek immediate medical attention, as this is a common sign of a stroke. Without treatment, a stroke can cause permanent damage to your heart and brain and even death.

While speech impairment may develop from a relatively harmless condition, the risk of stroke cannot be ignored, so be sure to seek help if impairment appears suddenly.

In This Article

Causes Of Speech Impairment

What causes Speech and Language Disorders?

The different types of speech impairment have different causes, and you can develop speech impairment suddenly or gradually.

Aphasia: This is when you have difficulty thinking of words or pronouncing them, and the potential causes of this type include head trauma, brain tumors, and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimers disease.

Dysarthria: This is when you have trouble moving your lips, tongue, vocal folds, or diaphragm. This typically results from degenerative muscle conditions such as multiple sclerosis as well as stroke, head trauma, Bells palsy, Lyme disease, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Vocal disorders: This affects your ability to speak and is caused by injuries to the area, throat cancer, polyps or nodules on the vocal cords, and consumption of drugs like antidepressants.

Spasmodic dysphonia: This involves involuntary movements of the vocal cords. The exact cause is unknown, but this impairment is linked to abnormal brain functioning.

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Natural Treatment For Speech Impairment

Most of the causes of speech impairment will require medical treatment. However, there are certain conditions related to heart health that you can prevent naturally. Stroke and atherosclerosis are both related to high cholesterol and clogged arteries.

Berberine bark extract both lowers cholesterol and fights inflammation to protect against heart disease. Chromium benefits the heart by reducing the risk of high cholesterol and arterial clogs. This significantly reduces the risk of stroke. Lions mane mushroom improves the good-to-bad ratio of cholesterol in your blood to protect against stroke.Niacin works to lower cholesterol and blood lipid levels to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Studies have found that it works more effectively than cholesterol-lowering statins. Pine bark extract helps lower bad cholesterol, which prevents clogged arteries and reduces the risk of stroke. This extract also reduces inflammation that can cause platelets to clump together, forming dangerous clots known to increase stroke risk.

Speech And Language Impairments

Speech and language disorders refer to problems in communication and related areas such as oral-motor function sucking, swallowing, drinking, eating. These delays and disorders range from simple sound substitutions to the inability to understand or use language or use the oral-motor mechanism for functional speech and feeding. Some causes of speech and language disorders include hearing loss, neurological disorders, brain injury, intellectual disability, drug abuse, physical impairments such as cleft lip or palate, and vocal abuse or misuse. Frequently, however, the cause is unknown.

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What Every Parent Should Know

Children with specific learning disabilities, including language or speech disorders, are eligible for special education services or accommodations at school under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act external icon and Section 504external icon, an anti-discrimination law.

Characteristics Of Speech Or Language Impairments

What Causes Speech Impediments

The characteristics of speech or language impairments will vary depending upon the type of impairment involved. There may also be a combination of several problems.

When a child has an articulation disorder, he or she has difficulty making certain sounds. These sounds may be left off, added, changed, or distorted, which makes it hard for people to understand the child.

Leaving out or changing certain sounds is common when young children are learning to talk, of course. A good example of this is saying wabbit for rabbit. The incorrect articulation isnt necessarily a cause for concern unless it continues past the age where children are expected to produce such sounds correctly.

Fluency refers to the flow of speech. A fluency disorder means that something is disrupting the rhythmic and forward flow of speechusually, a stutter. As a result, the childs speech contains an abnormal number of repetitions, hesitations, prolongations, or disturbances. Tension may also be seen in the face, neck, shoulders, or fists.

Voice is the sound thats produced when air from the lungs pushes through the voice box in the throat , making the vocal folds within vibrate. From there, the sound generated travels up through the spaces of the throat, nose, and mouth, and emerges as our voice.

Some characteristics of language disorders include:

  • improper use of words and their meanings,
  • inability to express ideas,
  • reduced vocabulary, and
  • inability to follow directions.

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What Is A Speech Impediment

Speech impediment, or speech disorder, happens when your child cant speak or cant speak so people understand what theyre saying. In some cases, a speech impediment is a sign of physical or developmental differences.

Left untreated, a speech impediment can make it difficult for children to learn to read and write. Children with speech impediments might also have trouble socializing. There are some speech impediments like tongue tie or cleft palate that may be treated with surgery. In most cases, however, speech therapy helps treat speech impediments.

What Causes Speech And Language Problems

  • Developmental speech and language disorders are a common reason for speech/language problems in kids. These learning disorders are caused by the brain working differently. Your child may have trouble producing speech sounds, using spoken language to communicate, or understanding what other people say. Speech and language problems are often the earliest sign of a learning disability.
  • Hearing loss is often overlooked, and easily identified. If your child is speech/language delayed, their hearing should be tested.
  • Extreme environmental deprivation can cause speech delay. If a child is neglected or abused and does not hear others speaking, they will not learn to speak.
  • Prematurity can lead to many kinds of developmental delays, including speech/language problems.
  • Auditory Processing Disorder describes a problem with decoding speech sounds. These kids can improve with speech and language therapy.
  • Neurological problems like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and traumatic brain injury can affect the muscles needed for speaking.
  • Autism affects communication. Speech/language/communication problems are often an early sign of autism.
  • is a specific speech disorder in which the child has difficulty in sequencing and executing speech movements.
  • Selective mutism is when a child will not talk at all in certain situations, often school.

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Speech And Language Disorders In The Classroom

There are a number of speech and language disorders that can affect a students ability to learn and succeed in the classroom. Some common disorders include stuttering, voice disorders, and difficulty with articulation. Many times, these disorders can be helped with early intervention and proper accommodations. However, if left untreated, they can cause a student to fall behind in school and have difficulty communicating with their peers.

When a person makes a specific sound, he or she communicates meaning to the listener. Speech disorders, in addition to impairing a persons ability to form sounds, also impair their ability to communicate. Speech disorders can manifest in a variety of ways, including stuttering, apraxia, and dysarthria. These disorders can have both behavioral and physical symptoms that occur at the same time. A phonological axon of speech is a condition in which an individuals motor skills are impaired, impairing their ability to produce the sounds of speech correctly. When the brain is damaged, a person suffers from a condition known as dysarthria, which causes muscle weakness in their face, lips, tongue, throat, or chest. In most cases, speech-language pathologists identify one of the symptoms of speech disorder by examining the patient for a variety of symptoms.

Tips For Supporting Your Childs Speech And Language Development

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  • Start talking to your child at birth. Even newborns benefit from hearing speech.
  • Respond to your babys coos and babbling.
  • Play simple games with your baby like peek-a-boo and patty-cake.
  • Talk to your child a lot. Tell them what you are doing as you do it.
  • Read books aloud. Ask a librarian for books appropriate to your childs age. If your baby loses interest in the text, just talk about the pictures.
  • Sing to your child and provide them with music. Learning new songs helps your child learn new words, and uses memory skills, listening skills, and expression of ideas with words.
  • Use gestures along with words.
  • Dont try to force your child to speak.
  • Expand on what your child says.
  • Describe for your child what they are doing, feeling and hearing in the course of the day.
  • Listen to your child. Look at them when they talk to you. Give them time to respond. .
  • Encourage storytelling and sharing information.
  • Play with your child one-on-one, and talk about the toys and games you are playing.
  • Plan family trips and outings. Your new experiences give you something interesting to talk about before, during, and after the outing.
  • Look at family photos and talk about them.
  • Ask your child lots of questions.
  • Dont criticize grammar mistakes. Instead, just model good grammar.
  • Follow your childs lead, so you are doing activities that hold their interest as you talk.
  • Have your child play with kids whose language is a little better than theirs.

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What Are Language Disorders In Children

Most infants or toddlers can understand what youre saying well before they can clearly talk. As they get older and their communication skills develop, most children learn how to put their feelings into words.

But some children have language disorders. They may have:

  • Receptive language disorder. A child has trouble understanding words that he or she hears and reads.

  • Expressive language disorder. A child has trouble speaking with others and expressing thoughts and feelings.

A child will often have both disorders at the same time. Such disorders are often diagnosed in children between the ages of 3 and 5.

Key Points About Language Disorders In Children

  • Children who have a language disorder have trouble understanding language and communicating.

  • There are 2 kinds of language disorders: receptive and expressive. Children often have both at the same time.

  • A child with a receptive language disorder has trouble understanding words that they hear and read.

  • A child with an expressive language disorder has trouble speaking with others and expressing thoughts and feelings.

  • Language disorders can have many possible causes, such as a brain injury or birth defect.

  • A speech-language pathologist can help diagnose and treat a language disorder.

  • Parents can help their child with language use and understanding through simple activities.

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