AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Speech issues can make your life – or that of your child – more difficult than it needs to be, and getting the right treatment can make all the difference in the world.

What Are Speech Disorders

These disorders affect your ability to speak and to communicate with the people around you. They may have various causes and can range from just a few speech errors or words to a loss of ability for using speech in order to communicate.

pathology How Can Speech Pathology Help You Or Your Child

Speech disorders are found in up to 13% of Australian children, according to a study of 14,500 school-aged children (McLeod & McKinnon, 2007).

Speech disorders are problems you may have with your voice and how you may make the sounds of speech. There are various types, depending on the way the problem areas are presented, according to

  • Articulation disorder is an issue where you have difficulty with how sounds are formed and then strung together. This is often characterized by using one sound as a substitute for another, leaving out a sound or distorting a sound.
  • Fluency disorder causes you or your child to interrupt the rhythm or flow of speech. It is characterized by repetitions, hesitations or prolonged sounds, words, syllables or phrases.
  • A voice disorder is characterized by a pitch that is not appropriate for what is being said. It may be too low, too high, interrupted by short breaks or not change at all. In addition, the quality of the voice may be nasal, breathy, hoarse or harsh. The voice may also be too loud or soft or too resonant.

How Do Speech Pathologists Help

The treatment for speech disorders varies, depending on the severity and nature of your problem. Differences also exist based on your age and how aware you are of your problem.

Speech pathologists can help you to articulate more properly so that you say the sounds of speech correctly. They can also be of help if you have a voice disorder, which means that you have difficulty in controlling the respiratory and vocal systems to produce the correct voice tones.

In addition to working with adults and children with speech disorders, pathologists assist with swallowing disorders and accent modification.

Speech Pathology for Children

Preschool children frequently have problems pronouncing certain words and putting proper sentences together. This is normal. Mispronunciations are, in fact, common until a child is about six years of age, states Baby Center.

Your young child’s speech should improve as time passes. You should be able to understand a good deal of what he is saying by the time he is three years old. If your child does not talk, or only talks a little, have his hearing checked, first. Then see your pediatrician about using a speech pathologist if hearing is not the issue.

Children with speech problems may do the following:

  • Talk using more vowels and fewer consonants
  • Mispronounce vowels, like “boo” instead of “bow”
  • Use single words instead of phrases and sentences
  • Not point to a specific object in a book
  • Use a limited vocabulary
  • Use part of a question you ask in his answer
  • Struggle with the use of pronouns
  • Not follow simple instructions
  • Not develop or change his language use one month to the next
  • Confuse gender

If you believe that your child might need a speech therapist, speak to his teachers and pediatrician. Your child’s physician might be able to refer you to a reputable speech therapist, or a company that specializes in speech pathology.

Once a speech pathologist begins work with your child, you will be happy to hear that his use of vowels and consonants is correct. He will also gain a great deal of self-confidence, knowing that people understand what he is saying.

About Author :  Dr. Michael Barakate is a pediatric and adult otolaryngologist located in Sydney, Australia offering health and wellness information at
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