What are the types of speech disabilities in children?



When children experience difficulties in speaking and understanding the meaning of words, they may suffer from various speech problems. These can include dysarthria, apraxia, or stuttering. Here are the different categories. You might have heard about OMD, but did you know dysarthria is also one of the children’s most common speech disabilities? If you’re unsure, read on to find out more.


Orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) is a group of disorders characterized by inappropriate muscle function and habits. OMDs can be caused by various causes, including nasal airway issues, allergies, or prolonged chewing or swallowing habits. A physician will assess the child’s airway to determine whether a foreign body blocks it. A speech-language pathologist will work to correct the disorder and improve the child’s speech and swallowing patterns.

People with OMD often produce the wrong sounds when speaking. Specifically, their tongues cannot correctly produce the’s’ or ‘z’ sounds. This condition can also lead to significant problems with jaw function and teeth alignment. Despite its many consequences, OMD can lead to speech difficulty for children.

Many treatments are available to treat OMD, and speech pathologists can work with a multidisciplinary team to identify the correct treatments. Generally, the goal of SLP therapy is to restore a child’s oral resting posture that is functional and facilitates speech, swallowing, and sleeping. Oral muscle therapy can be very intensive and involve daily speech exercises. For those with severe OMD, speech pathologists can prescribe medications to control the condition.


This condition causes speech to be slurred, distorted, or laboured, resulting in poor quality and intelligibility. Children with dysarthria may also have problems with tone or articulation, and their speech may sound monotone or echoed. These conditions often affect other aspects of a child’s development, including chewing and swallowing.

Dysarthria causes many causes, including structural issues, ALS, or trauma. Symptoms of dysarthria include speaking softly, speaking slowly, and having trouble controlling the volume. 

Treatment for dysarthria in children is vital for increasing the intelligibility of speech. When speech is understood immediately, it enables children to maximize their communication opportunities and interact with others in all areas of their lives. Research has shown that treatment with speech pathology is highly effective. However, it is essential to note that no research studies have been conducted on how much speech therapy benefits dysarthria.


Some parents may mistake symptoms of dyspraxia for symptoms of another disorder, and it is because symptoms of dyspraxia are common in children of all ages. Sometimes, the symptoms look like naughtiness or boredom and mask the actual cause. Parents should always give their children the benefit of the doubt and keep in mind that other conditions often mask the symptoms of dyspraxia.

Verbal dyspraxia affects the articulation of sounds and the organization of words, and it affects the part of the brain that controls the facial muscles, lips, and tongue. Children with this disorder may mix letters, have difficulty getting words out, and make unusual articulations. Other symptoms of dyspraxia include poor concentration and anger. In some cases, children with dyspraxia may use a straw or a feeding tube to swallow.


In children, stuttering can be a lifelong challenge, and it can affect the child’s self-esteem and interactions with other people. Treatment can include speech therapy, electronic devices, or cognitive behavioural therapy. For children, speaking in front of an audience can be challenging, which can lead to self-consciousness and anxiety. Teenagers with stuttering can face other challenges, including social isolation and lower self-esteem.

If the child has no physical disabilities, it is likely to be caused by a brain error affecting muscle coordination and mouth movement. Sometimes, stuttering runs in families and may be hereditary, and if other family members have the condition, the child is more likely to develop it. However, there is no specific cause of stuttering, so it is best to seek treatment as early as possible.

Fluency disorders

The name “fluency disorder” describes a type of speech disability affecting the rhythm, flow, and speed of a person’s speech. A person with a fluency disorder will repeat words and parts of words, pause awkwardly between them, and jam words and syllables together. These behaviours can affect the quality of a person’s speech and the ability to understand others.

Early assessment from physioinq.com.au/mobile/wa/south-perth/speech-therapy-for-children is essential because it can help prevent harmful beliefs that can lead to further communication problems. During a speech therapy session, a speech-language pathologist will evaluate the child’s speech and perform an oral-mechanism exam. It is essential to understand that there are different treatments for each disorder, but there are general guidelines for approaching a child with a fluency disorder.


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