Speech-language disorders are the most frequent type of childhood disability, affecting 1 in every 12 children, or 5% to 8% of preschoolers. 

Untreated speech-language disorders have serious repercussions, including behavioral issues, mental health issues, reading difficulty, and academic failure, including in-grade retention and high school dropout. Despite the fact that intervention is available and plentiful, such problems are the ones that are least well diagnosed in primary care.

What is a speech impairment?

A speech impairment is a problem with producing spoken sounds that can range from mild to severe. It could be an articulation problem, with omissions or distortions of speech sounds; a fluency problem, with the aberrant flow, rhythm, and/or repetitions of sounds; or a voice problem, with abnormal pitch, loudness, resonance, vocal quality, or length.

Hearing loss, neurological diseases, brain injury, Cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, drug abuse, hearing problems, and physical limitations such as cleft lip or palate are some of the reasons for speech and language issues.

Although Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas of the brain are thought to be the most significant in speech, other portions of the brain also play a role in coordinating the muscles of the mouth to form spoken words. The left side of the brain is where most people’s speech-related brain activity occurs.

How many major communication disorders are specified under the disability of speech impairment?

The following are some common types of speech impediments:

  • Stuttering – This symptom could signal a developmental delay, a hereditary disorder, or a warning that your child’s brain isn’t coordinating the functions that control speech.
  • Errors in articulation – When children have difficulty positioning their tongue in the proper position, they are unable to create speaking sounds – An example of an articulation fault is lisping.
  • Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) – This is a physical disorder in which youngsters have difficulty moving their mouths.
  • Apraxia – When a child’s brain is unable to coordinate the muscles that enable speech, this disorder develops.
  • Dysarthria – This condition occurs when children’s speech becomes slurred due to brain injury.
  • Selective mutism – This problem occurs when youngsters grow so terrified of specific places and situations that they are unable to speak.

How does speech impairment affect learning?

A student with speech impairment may experience difficulty in their academic achievement. For example, there may be difficulties understanding and following directions, organizing ideas, and retrieving words. 

Reading comprehension problems, as well as the difficulties that ensue (offering details, describing what was read, and recognizing the key concept), may indicate linguistic problems.

How does speech impairment affect self-esteem?

By the age of ten, children with certain language deficits have a much poorer impression of themselves than their usually developing peers, according to a study conducted by Jerome, Fujiki, Brinton, and James (2002). Academic competency, social acceptance, and behavioral abilities were all affected by this disparity in self-esteem.

All adults in a child’s life — parents, teachers, clinicians, and so on – must be aware of their child’s view of their own self-worth. Self-esteem issues can affect a child’s social interactions, mental health, and academic achievement.

How does language and speech impairment affect social-emotional development in young children?

When a person’s speech and language abilities are hampered, it can have a negative impact on their social and emotional well-being. Self-isolation, temper tantrums, and other behavioral disorders might result from a young child’s inability to communicate or manage their feelings internally.

Speech impairments in older children can lead to a variety of social and emotional difficulties. Children who stammer, for example, may have low self-esteem, retreat, or limit their interactions with peers for fear of being taunted. Those with a developmental language issue may know exactly what they want to say but struggle to put their ideas into sentences, leading to anger and irritability.

How does speech impairment affect the use of mobile apps

Communication difficulties affect more than 75% of patients with acquired brain injury (ABI) worldwide. Mobile health apps for children with speech difficulties have exploded in popularity since the advent of the cellphone. Such problems can have long-term consequences for work, social participation, and overall quality of life. Mobile apps and other technology-enabled therapies have the potential to expand the reach of speech-language therapy for the treatment of communication impairments. However, ensuring that apps are evidence-based and of high quality is crucial for providing adults with communication difficulties with safe and effective treatment.

A study published on NLM discovered that all apps designed for aiding speech impairment available for IOS and Android fell significantly short of being fit for the purpose.

Why is speech impairment a symptom of stroke?

Aphasia is a communication impairment that makes it difficult to communicate. Strokes in the left side of the brain, which govern speech and language, are the most common cause.

People with aphasia may have trouble talking in everyday situations such as at home, in social situations, or at work. They could also feel alone. Aphasia has no impact on IQ. Even if their speech is muddled, fractured, or difficult to comprehend, stroke survivors remain mentally awake.

About one in three individuals who have had a stroke have difficulty speaking, interpreting speech, reading, or writing. The effects vary depending on where the stroke occurred in the brain.

What is the difference between speech impairment and language impairment?

There is a big distinction between speech impairment and language impairment. Speech impairment is when someone can’t speak properly. Language impairment is when someone has difficulty understanding or using words. For example, a person with speech impairment might have trouble enunciating words or pronouncing them correctly. A person with language impairment might have difficulty reading, writing, or comprehending words.