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Types of Speech Disorders in Children and How Therapy Can Help

Types of Speech Disorders in Children and How Therapy Can Help

May is Speech Therapy Month, an excellent opportunity to bring awareness to the crucial role speech therapists play in helping children overcome communication challenges. At PediaPlex, a multidisciplinary practice offering speech therapy alongside occupational and ABA therapy, we’re committed to supporting children and their families. 

Types of speech disorders in children

Speech disorders in children vary widely, but they generally fall into a few broad categories:

Articulation disorders

Some children struggle with making certain sounds. Children with articulation disorders may have difficulty pronouncing words with “th” or “w,” for example. They may omit sounds, substitute sounds, or sound distorted,  making a child's speech difficult to understand. 

Fluency disorders

Also known as stuttering, fluency disorders affect a child’s speech flow, speed, and rhythm. A child might repeat parts of words, prolong them, or stop abruptly; interruptions, known as blocks, may also occur. These disruptions tend to worsen in stressful situations.

Resonance disorders

The characteristic of a voice that results from vibrations in the throat, mouth, and nose is called resonance. Language, dialect, and speech sound all affect resonance differently. A typical-sounding resonance is produced by the pharynx, which is the throat, and the soft palate, which is the back portion of the roof of the mouth. 

Resonance disorders happen when there’s a shift in how sound and air pass through your child's mouth, nose, and throat. A problem in the vocal cords or air passing abnormally through the nasal cavity may be the cause. 

Expressive and receptive language disorders

As children develop language skills, they learn to put their thoughts and feelings into words. However, some children struggle with understanding words they hear, known as a receptive language disorder. In other cases, children have issues expressing their thoughts, and this falls into the category of expressive language disorder. 

How speech therapy can help

Speech therapy is tailored to the specific needs of each child. Our speech therapist can work with your child to improve their ability to speak clearly and to understand and process language. 

Here’s how our therapies make a difference:

Targeted intervention

Our speech therapists assess the specific needs of each child and develop a customized therapy plan that targets those needs. This might involve exercises to strengthen the muscles in the mouth, practice with sound production, or specific tasks to improve language comprehension and use.

Techniques and tools

Various techniques and tools are used to enhance speech clarity and language skills. Your child’s speech therapy program might include articulation therapy, language intervention activities, and dynamic, interactive approaches like role-playing or storytelling.

Family involvement

Family involvement plays a vital role in a successful speech therapy program. Family members receive guidance on effectively communicating with the child and reinforcing therapy techniques at home. This involvement creates a supportive environment that encourages continuous improvement.

Interdisciplinary approach

For children who may also benefit from other forms of therapy, such as occupational therapy for motor skills or ABA therapy for behavioral challenges, our practice offers a comprehensive approach. 

The benefits of early speech therapy

Early intervention is crucial in speech therapy. The earlier a child starts therapy, the better their progress. Early treatment can prevent a speech or language disorder from causing difficulties with reading, writing, and interpersonal relationships later in life. 

With a range of therapies, the PediaPlex team is committed to improving your child’s communication skills and overall development. Contact us today to learn how we can support your child’s journey to clearer, more effective communication.

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