Five of the Most Common Speech-Language Disorders in Children
Updated: Feb 7
Speech services can help children overcome language difficulties and prepare them for success at school and in the community. According to the CDC, speech and language disorders affect about 8% of children between the ages of 3 to 17. These conditions are more common among children who are born prematurely, have been diagnosed with Down syndrome or autism spectrum disorder, or have a family history of speech and language issues. These are the five most commonly diagnosed language and speech problems in children.
An articulation disorder is characterized by difficulty with pronouncing certain sounds correctly, most commonly the R sound and the S sound. While articulation issues are common and even expected when children are learning to speak, speech services may be helpful if it persists into the school years. These disorders often do not have an obvious cause, but they can sometimes be linked to hearing loss, structural abnormalities such as a cleft palate, or nervous system conditions such as cerebral palsy.
Apraxia of Speech
Apraxia of speech is associated with the motor function of speech production; signals sent by the brain to form words do not always reach the muscles that are used to produce sounds. This often manifests as errors with speech rhythm, stress, and/or intonation.
Children may display issues with either receptive or expressive language. Children who struggle with receptive language may have difficulty answering questions or following directions. Expressive language disorders are associated with trouble forming sentences, asking questions, and starting a conversation.
A stutter is a type of disfluency in which a person repeats words, phrases, or parts of a word. He or she may also have a hard time getting a word out or stretch out a certain sound for longer than normal. Children affected by stuttering often feel uncomfortable about speaking in front of others. Stuttering is most common among children aged 2 to 6 and may resolve on its own.
Children who tend to speak too loudly or too softly or frequently has a hoarse voice may have a voice disorder. Voice disorders can sometimes be caused by polyps or nodules in the throat or vocal stress that leads to speaking with unnecessary force.
High Level Speech & Hearing Center provides diagnosis and treatment services for children affected by speech and language disorders in New Orleans and Harahan. We also provide hearing assessments at the same time to help determine if hearing loss may be part of the cause. Call us at 504.266.0576 today to schedule an evaluation for your child. The National Institute of Health has found that early treatment of speech disorders is associated with better outcomes, so it's best to receive a diagnosis as soon as possible.