Speech plays a significant role in your life. It is your way of expressing your thoughts through articulate sounds. It is vital in the speech process that the idea is delivered clearly so that the listeners may comprehend, but there are individuals that experience speech problems at an early age.
It is said that your ability as a child gets better, which is shown through the level of comprehension the people towards you shows over time. When a child exhibits a problem in this aspect, it signifies a problem. This problem may be caused by Speech-sound Disorder, a condition characterized by difficulty in articulation, prosodic or phonological development.
Age and Comprehension by Parents
According to Lynch and colleagues, when you were 18 months old, your speech skills are at 25% development, 50-75% in your 24th month, and 75-100% during the time you are in your 36th month. It’s vital that in these stages in your life, you meet the level of speech development because slow/lack of action thereof can signify a more severe problem.
Most of the time, children with the disorder are significantly less understandable than other children of the same age. Although it is normal for children to stutter and mispronounce words every once in a while, the problem with speech for children with the disorder is evident during conversational speech.
But remember that sometimes speech comprehension depends on who the listeners are. One example is when some family members comprehend easier than with unfamiliar listeners, sometimes some family members can comprehend more than the others, like when a sibling may sometimes be better than parents in understanding what their younger sibling is saying.
Dysarthria (DYS)-Motor Speech Disorder
DYS is a condition characterized by having the muscles used to pronounce words damaged or weakened, causing low speech coordination while talking. When you have this type of disorder, you may lose control over your larynx, lips, tongue, palate, and jaw, making it hard for you to pronounce words.
You may also experience poor breathing and/or weak voice support for speech. One of the most common treatments used by speech-language pathologists for this disorder is oral-motor exercises to help manage the symptoms.
An articulation disorder is another speech-sound disorder that makes a person have difficulties in creating sounds. This disorder is caused by having mouth malformation such as cleft palate or damage to the brain or nerves.
Although it is normal for you to experience mispronunciation or baby-talking during your childhood, if these problems persist past early childhood, this may signify a more severe problem such as articulation disorder. Childhood or developmental apraxia of speech is one example of the disorder.
But not all the time the symptoms above mentioned are automatically caused by the disorder. It may sometimes be associated with accent or dialect. This can be rectified using accent modification to correct the errors in speech.
Goals of Articulation Therapy
One of the most effective methods in treating the disorder is articulation therapy conducted by speech-language pathologists. This therapy aims to improve speech skills by learning the proper usage of each part of the mouth to make the correct sound and achieve speech clarity
Having good speech skills at an early age can be advantageous to your child. It can boost confidence, and it is an excellent tool to make friends. Having problems in this aspect, on the other hand, can be a big problem for it can cause bullying that can lead to low self-esteem and even develop a self-defeating attitude.
That is why it is vital to get your children checked if the symptoms persist after early childhood and even when it just started. Speech-language pathologists will help them manage the symptoms and get their confidence back.