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Speech difficulties

Overview of Speech difficulties

Speech disorders can affect the way a person creates sounds to form words. Certain voice disorders may also be considered speech disorders.

One of the most commonly experienced speech disorders is stuttering. Other speech disorders include apraxia and dysarthria.

  • Apraxia is a motor speech disorder caused by damage to the parts of the brain related to speaking.
  • Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder in which the muscles of the mouth, face, or respiratory system may become weak or have difficulty moving.

Some people with speech disorders are aware of what they would like to say but unable to articulate their thoughts. This may lead to self-esteem issues and the development of depression.

Home Remedies for Speech difficulties :

For dysarthria, ways to help improve communication include speaking slowly and using hand gestures. Family and friends need to provide plenty of time for those with the disorder to express themselves. Typing on an electronic device or using pen and paper can also help with communication.

For aphasia, family members may need to provide frequent orientation reminders, such as the day of the week. Disorientation and confusion often occur with aphasia.Using nonverbal ways of communicating may also help.

It's important to maintain a relaxed, calm environment and keep external stimuli to a minimum.

  • Speak in a normal tone of voice (this condition is not a hearing or emotional problem).
  • Use simple phrases to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Don't assume that the person understands.
  • Provide communication aids, if possible, depending on the person and condition.

Mental health counseling may help with depression or frustration that many people with speech impairment have.

When to see doctor for Speech difficulties :

If you have concerns about your child?s speech development, it is best to seek professional help sooner rather than later. Early problems with speech can sometimes indicate underlying disorders of language and later with literacy learning. If you suspect speech difficulties, always get your child?s hearing checked (even if you do not think there is a problem). Many children get Glue-Ear (otitis media) which can significantly affect their speech development.

A qualified Speech Pathologist / Speech Therapist (different titles in different countries) will have a degree in the subject of communication difficulties and will have a broad knowledge of speech disorders, language difficulties, literacy problems autism, hearing impairment and many other areas around communication difficulties. They will be able to carry out tests to identify the reason?s for your child?s difficulties and provide the appropriate advice and treatment.

Treatment for the Speech difficulties

Mild speech disorders may not require any treatment. Some speech disorders may simply go away. Others can improve with speech therapy.

Treatment varies and depends on the type of disorder. In speech therapy, a professional therapist will guide you through exercises that work to strengthen the muscles in your face and throat. You?ll learn to control your breathing while speaking. Muscle-strengthening exercises and controlled breathing help improve the way your words sound. You?ll also learn ways to practice smoother, more fluent speech.

Some people with speech disorders experience nervousness, embarrassment, or depression. Talk therapy may be helpful in these situations. A therapist will discuss ways to cope with the condition and ways to improve the outlook of your condition. If your depression is severe, antidepressant medications can help.

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