Speech pertains to the mechanics of making a sound to speak a language. Speech experts definite the four elements that comprise a speech, and they are the following: articulation, phonology, voice, and fluency. Children with speech disorders may have problems with one or all of these elements, which may be caused by a lot of reasons.
Parents who think that their children are having major difficulties in speaking should consult with a medical expert right away. They should know why the problem exists and what they can do to address it. Treatments are normally done through therapy.
Listed below are the four different elements of speech and how children age 5 years old and above may be struggling with each. If you observe such conditions among your children, you might want to set up a consultation with a speech pathologist very soon.
Before reaching 7 years old, it is quite common for children to have articulation problems as evidenced by leaving out or substituting the sounds of certain letters of the word when they speak. They may also experience trouble making the sounds of certain letters, but that’s okay. But if the problem is still evident when they reach 7 or 8 years of age, then they do have articulation problems and they need to see an expert to correct it.
Phonology pertains to the way sounds are made and how they are placed together to make words. Children with issues in phonology tend to substitute sounds that are made in their throat with sounds that are made in the front of their mouth. This issue in pronunciation can easily be addressed by speech therapy.
Voice pertains to the volume, pitch, and quality of speech. Everybody knows what a normal speaking voice sounds like. However, if children tend to sound hoarse or are quite nasal or breathy when they speak, then they may have speech issues that have to be addressed. Their inability to speak loudly or if they are speaking too loudly could be a cause for concern as well.
Fluency refers to one’s flow of speech. Kids who are having issues with fluency usually stammer or stutter when they speak. Some may even pause in the wrong places, which makes it difficult for anyone to understand them at all. Do note that these issues are problems that won’t just go away. A professional is needed to help children overcome the situation.
Consult with a Speech Pathologist
If there’s one professional who can help your children with any type of speech disorder speak better, it’s a speech pathologist. A speech pathologist is an expert in diagnosing and treating communication disorders caused by developmental delays and learning disabilities.
Speech pathologists are certified professionals and their practice is duly regulated like most of the people who work in the health field. They receive constant training about the new developments in speech therapy so that they can make a huge difference in a child’s life. These professionals can also help adults with speech-related impediments.