Speech disorders affect many children in Louisville. If you’re a parent whose child is having difficulty with speech, you’re going to want to know how to get them help.
Treatment depends on the type of disorder and its severity, but don’t worry – there are plenty of solutions that have proven successful for children with speech disorders in Louisville and across the country.
Speech Disorder Categories
Speech disorders occur when a patient has difficulty putting words together to communicate a message, or has trouble producing certain sounds so the message can be understood clearly by others.
Speech Disorders Include:
- Articulation disorders. The patient has difficulty producing speech sounds and combining sounds correctly into syllables, words and sentences to such an extent that it is extremely difficult for others to understand what is being said.
- Fluency disorders. These are characterized by interruptions in the normal flow of speech. Stuttering, an abnormal pattern of repetition or prolongation of sounds, syllables or words, is the most common fluency disorder.
- Voice disorders. These are characterized by problems with pitch, volume or voice quality.
- Feeding/swallowing disorders. These occur when the child has abnormal patterns related to sucking, biting, chewing or swallowing and can impact overall development and quality of life, as well as speech production patterns.
Speech-language pathologists, often referred to as speech therapists, are skilled in evaluating your child’s speech, language, cognitive, communication and oral/swallowing skills in order to diagnose their particular speech problem.
Treatment for Speech Disorders
Speech therapy is vitally important to ensure your child doesn’t encounter related problems. It helps prevent hearing loss, weakened oral muscles, excessive drooling, breathing problems and feeding/swallowing disorders. The younger the patient, the better the chances of successful treatment.
The goal of your child’s treatment is to resolve the issue by focusing on the area causing them trouble. Speech therapy strategies include articulation therapy, focusing on pronunciation and physical exercises that involve the tongue, lips and jaw to strengthen muscles in the mouth.
Additional treatment services include:
- Speech-language evaluations
- Individual speech, language and/or listening therapy
- Social skills groups
- Home-based services for children ages birth to three years through Kentucky and Indiana First Steps
Should you be concerned over your child’s speech and wish to ensure they receive help for a potential speech disorder, contact a Louisville speech-language therapist to schedule an appointment. The sooner the problem is diagnosed, the better your child’s odds of long-term success.