10 Most Common Speech-Language Disorders & Impediments

Kids are born prepared to learn language by hearing and practicing the language that their family uses to communicate. Learning a language takes time. How rapidly a child learns the language varies. Some children learn it quickly and some may take time.  Typically, growing children may have trouble with certain sounds, words, or sentences while they are learning the language. Most children begin to use language properly around 5 years.

Speech-Language Disorders and Impediments:

Speech is how we produce sound and words. Language is the words and sentences we use to communicate. A speech disorder is when a child has a problem with producing speech sounds essential to communicate. It makes others unable to comprehend the speech of the child.

Speech problems include:

Ø  Blurred sounds

Ø  Raspy or hoarse voice

Ø  Repeat sounds

Ø  Speaking with pauses

Language disorder is when a child uses fewer words and simpler sentences than other kids of their age. They find it problematic to use suitable words or make a whole sentence. Their words and sentences may not make sense.

Children with language issues struggle:

Ø  Understanding

Ø  Talking

Ø  Writing

Ø  Reading

Speech-Language Disorders and impediments make it difficult for the child to make certain sounds and make others understand what they want to say. Kids with such disorders often face trouble when they try to make friends and be social or when they start learning and writing.

Now coming to the most common speech-language disorders and impediments:

Articulation disorders:

Articulation means making sounds. Sound is formed with proper organization and movements of the tongue, lips, teeth, respiratory system, and palate. Speech involves diverse nerves and muscles. Articulation disorders involve improper production of speech sounds because of trouble with insight, timing, placement, direction, and movement of tongue, lips, jaw, and airflow.

Children with articulation disorders have:

Ø  Struggle to make sounds and form specific sounds of speech properly.

Ø  May not produce particular sounds.

The most common articulation booboos in children are ‘L’, ‘R’, and ‘S’ sounds. Typically, children with articulation disorders have minor to moderate shortfalls in speech fluency.


When the neural path between the speech muscles and brain is mislaid or masked the condition is referred to as apraxia of speech. In this condition, the person knows what he/she wants to say, they can write what they want to say but they can’t speak. Because the brain is not able to send accurate messages so speech muscles are not able to articulate speech. The sternness of apraxia may vary ranging from most efficient to confused speech. Parents can practice speech therapy ideas at home to improve their child’s speech.


Dysarthria is associated with nerve or muscle damage. It is caused by nerve impairment or muscle harm to the muscles involved in the speaking process such as the tongue, lips, vocal cords, and diaphragm. It may begin during the growth in the womb or soon after birth as a result of some health conditions such as cerebral palsy and dystrophy.

The ailment itself become evident:

Ø  Inaudible speech

Ø  Slackened speech

Ø  Inadequate movement of lip, jaw, or tongue

Ø  Irregular rhythm and pitch when speaking

Ø  Voice quality fluctuations

Ø  Difficulty articulating


Stuttering is also known as stammering. It is a well-known speech-language disorder so anyone can apprehend it easily. Possibly every child stutter initially when they learn to speak. Stuttering may also be accompanied by non-verbal involuntary activities or semi-voluntary movements such as abdominal twitches or blinking.

Speech-language pathologists are qualified to diagnose symptoms of stuttering, mainly non-verbal symptoms. This disorder becomes seeming when the child starts talking and it may also be superficial during childhood. Stuttering becomes a considerable problem when it influences the daily activities of a child or when it causes worries. In some kids, symptoms are prompted by certain events.

Autism spectrum disorder:

Autism spectrum disorders comprise a problem with communication and behavior. Autism can be a slight problem or a debility that necessitates full-time care or special care. Children with autism have trouble understanding what others feel and think. They find it tough to direct themselves with words or through touch, gestures, and facial expressions.

Indications of autism spectrum disorders are:

Ø  No eye contact.

Ø  Narrow or intense interest in certain topics.

Ø  Overdoing something like moving back and forth or repeating words and phrases.

Ø  Not looking at or listening to others.

Ø  Avoiding being cuddled or held.

Ø  Trouble adjusting to changes in their routine.

Ø  Struggle using or understanding speech, tone of voice, facial expressions, or gestures.

Receptive disorders:

Receptive language disorder is when a child is not able to recognize the language and what is said. They fight to hold the meaning of words they hear from others. The cause of these disorders is not known but these may be caused by several factors. The symptoms may vary from child to child but mostly the language comprehension problems commence before three years of age. Children should realize what others say before they use language to speak.

Warning signs of receptive disorders include:

Ø  Trouble understanding what others say to them.

Ø  Struggle following the instructions given by others.

Ø  Unable to organize their thoughts and feelings for speaking or writing.

Ø  Not understanding gestures, and concepts.

Ø  Not able to identify objects, learn new words, and answer questions.

Selective mutism:

Muteness- selective mutism is a form of autism. It occurs when a child does not speak in most circumstances even when he/she is skilled at speaking physically. Commonly this condition is represented when a child says well at home but not at school or in the public. 

Symptoms include:

Ø  Desire to speak is prevented by fear, anxiousness, or embarrassment.

Ø  Evading eye contact and shyness.

Ø  Incapability to speak in school, social events, or public places.

Ø  Lack of expression and movement in scared situations.

Ø  Using non-verbal communication to express their needs.

The problem begins during childhood. The problem can continue to adulthood if left untreated. Speech-language therapists work with selectively mute kids to address speech-language disorders and make a customized treatment plan.

Expressive disorders:

When a child has distress talking, expressing their thoughts and feelings to others, the condition is called an expressive disorder. They have trouble using language and when trying to speak. Expressive disorders are frequently identified between the age of 3 to 5 years. Expressive disorders may disturb a child’s spoken and written language.  

Children having expressive disorder may have symptoms such as:

Ø  Struggle to put the words together to make a sentence.

Ø  Using placeholder words (umm).

Ø  Not able to find the correct words while speaking.

Ø  Skip the words form sentences while talking.

Ø  The trouble with naming objects, using gestures, and asking questions.


If a child is having matters with speech-language development, you should refer to a speech-language pathologist. They will evaluate the child cautiously to determine the reason behind the problem. Speech therapy can help improve severe signs. Speech-language therapists explain to children how to use their mouth and tongue to make certain sounds and speech. Most kids get improved with speech therapy. The sooner you start the therapy better will be the outcomes. They may also recommend some speech therapy ideas to try at home. Parents can use these ideas to improve speech in their children.

Children with speech-language disorders may need some further help from a speech-language pathologist. It may take time so you need to be easy-going as a parent but speech therapy can improve the extents of weakness and significantly boost your child’s communication.


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