Part of growing up is learning how to speak. But some kids have a harder time of it than others. Experts have estimated that upwards of 8% of children in the United States grapple with a communication disorder before the age of 17. Thankfully, speech therapists have the expertise to help them develop the language skills they need to thrive.
Do you suspect your child has a communication disorder? Here are a few of the most common.
Let’s begin with one of the most familiar communication disorders in children: stuttering. A stutter can take many forms. They may repeatedly pronounce the initial letter or syllable of a word. They could also extend certain sounds, or take long pauses in the middle of sentences.
A period of stuttering lasting less than 6 months is common in children—especially when under the age of 4. It may resolve on its own. In other circumstances, a speech therapist can give your child all the tools they need to overcome stuttering.
Most of us don’t consider just how many tiny and intricate muscles we use to speak. Although it requires little effort for individuals without communication disorders, speaking is actually a remarkably complex action. Children with dysarthria have difficulties using the appropriate muscles for speech. Most often, this motor speech disorder results from brain damage.
Here are some of the symptoms of dysarthria in children:
- Speech that sounds ‘slurred’
- Talking either very quickly or very slowly
- Difficulties moving lips, jaw, and tongue
The speech therapists at Connections Therapy Center can help your child conquer dysarthria.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)
Although this communication disorder is less common than the others we’ve discussed today, it still warrants your attention. Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is another motor speech disorder that makes it more difficult for children to speak. Its causes are not sufficiently understood, but experts have attributed it to brain damage and genetics.
Children with this disorder experience interference in the messaging between their brain and the muscles in their mouth. But it manifests quite differently from dysarthria. A child with CAS may frequently pronounce the same word in different ways, or repeatedly emphasize the wrong syllable.
Whether your child has CAS, dysarthria, or stuttering, our speech therapists can help. Contact us for more information!
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.