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Health Information For Parents
Speech impairments can make it hard to communicate. Someone with a speech impairment may have difficulty with articulation (production of speech sounds), voice (pitch, resonance, or loudness), or fluency (flow of speech).
Some kids and teens with speech impairments have oral–motor problems, meaning there’s inefficient communication in the areas of the brain responsible for speech production. Speech impairments also can be part of a more general developmental delay or related to medical conditions such as a hearing impairment, weak muscles around the mouth, cleft lip or palate, vocal nodules or hoarseness, autism, or a breathing or swallowing disorder.
Stuttering, or stammering is a problem that interferes with fluent speech.
Lisping is an articulation disorder and refers to a specific substitution involving the letters “s” and “z.” A person who lisps replaces those sounds with “th.”
Students with speech impairments may:
Bullies may target students with speech impairments.
Because speech impairments can isolate students from their classmates, it is essential that teachers provide students with help and support. Be patient when students with speech impairments are speaking. Be a role model to your other students about the importance of not interrupting and letting people finish their own sentences.
Ask questions in a way that lets the student give a brief answer, or consider substituting written work for oral presentations.
Consult with your student’s speech therapist, other special educators, or parents to learn about specific needs. You can also talk privately with the student and get his or her input on what’s helpful and what’s not.
Do you know someone who stutters or has another speech disorder? Find out how speech disorders are treated, how you can help a friend or classmate cope, and lots more.
You might visit a speech therapist if you’re having trouble speaking or understanding others. Find out more in this article for kids.
Do you or does someone you know ever have a hard time getting words out? Get the whole story on stuttering and other speech problems in this article for kids.
Knowing what’s “normal” and what’s not in speech and language development can help you figure out if you should be concerned or if your child is right on schedule.
Kids with APD can’t process what they hear as other kids do, because their ears and brain don’t fully coordinate. But early diagnosis and therapy can improve their hearing skills.
Many young kids go through a stage when they stutter. Stuttering usually goes away on its own but in some cases lasts longer.
With this birth defect, tissues of the mouth or lip don’t form properly when a baby is developing in the womb. The good news is that cleft lip and palate are treatable.
Cleft lip and palate are birth defects that happen while a baby is still developing in the womb. Find out more about cleft lip and palate and some of the challenges they present.
Working with a certified speech-language pathologist can help a child with speech or language difficulties.
Some kids may be eligible for individualized education programs in public schools, free of charge. Understanding how to access these services can help you be an effective advocate for your child.
If your child has special needs in the classroom, he or she may be eligible for a government-supported learning plan.
Hearing problems can be overcome if they’re caught early, so it’s important to get your child’s hearing screened early and checked regularly.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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