What are sound disorders? Speech and hearing related health problems are now gaining more awareness among the public. This allows patients and their families to recognize symptoms and get help at earlier stages. A speech sound disorder occurs when a person struggles with producing speech sounds. As a result, they are unable to communicate properly.
Of course, it is normal for little children to say words incorrectly and find difficulty in communicating their thoughts. But, it should concern you if they struggle to make the correct sounds even past their vocabulary-learning age. Then, you might want to consult a medical professional and seek treatment in a timely manner. Continue reading to learn more about speech sound disorders.
Speech sound disorders are simply communication disorders that affect how a person perceives sounds and the way they say them. Generally common in children, people with speech sound disorders experience trouble in making correct sounds and speaking clearly.
Some children even struggle to produce some specific sounds only or find difficulty controlling their voice. Others with sound speech disorders also suffer from speaking problems like stuttering lisp or stutter. In such cases, their speech is so incoherent that people around them are unable to make what the child is trying to say.
A speech sound disorder is not the same as a language disorder. In fact, speech sound disorder only refers to difficulty in making sounds, whereas language disorders involve problems understanding and speaking a language in general. Children with sound disorders do not have any problem with understanding language.
By the age of 8, most children know enough vocabulary to communicate their thoughts effectively. However, if your child still hasn’t mastered the basic words, they may be struggling with a speech sound disorder.
Speech sound disorders involve phonological process disorders and articulation disorders.
- Phonological process disorder: pattern of sound mistakes such as leaving out certain letters when pronouncing a word.
- Articulation disorder: problem with producing certain sounds like the ‘sh’ or ‘ch’ sound.
What are the Symptoms of Speech Sound Disorder?
It is normal for children to struggle initially as they learn to speak, but most kids speak very clearly by the time they turn 3. In case a child’s speech is not developing with age, they might be suffering from a speech disorder.
Some common symptoms include:
- Trouble moving lips, tongue, and jaw
- Difficulty in making specific sounds
- Not speaking as well as other children of the same age
- Not speaking clearly
- Sudden changes in pitch and volume
- Nasal or hoarse voice when speaking
- Panting while talking
- Stuttering or lisping
- Struggle with using facial muscles such as while chewing or blowing nose
Although speech sound disorders usually show up during early childhood years, they may also appear later in life.
Signs of articulation disorders include:
- Skipping certain sounds from words (for example: only saying ‘coo’ while trying to say ‘school)
- Adding extra sounds to words (for example: saying ‘puhlay’ while trying to say ‘play’)
- Distorting the pronunciation of words (for example: saying ‘dhith’ while trying to say ‘this’)
- Swapping letters between words (for example: swapping r in ‘radio’ with w)
Signs of phonological process disorders include:
- Only saying one syllable in multiple syllable words (for example: saying ‘bay’ while trying to say ‘baby’)
- Repeating syllables in a word to simplify the word (for example: saying ‘baba’ while trying to say ‘bottle’)
- Leaving out the sound of consonants in a word (for example: saying ‘at’ while trying to say ‘rat’)
- Changing the sound of a consonant in words (for example: saying ‘tat’ while trying to say ‘cat’)
What Are Sound Disorders? Conclusion
Speech sound disorders usually appear in the early childhood years, but some adults also show signs later in life. Although the real cause for sound disorders is still unknown, experts believe it has to do with gender, pre and peri-natal problems, and family history. Treatment plans can help patients suffering from articulation and phonological process disorders through the use of different strategies and activities.
The Tinnitus Cognitive Center™ in New York provides excellent sound therapies, with a specialty in tinnitus cognitive retraining therapy and misophonia treatment. Visit Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R, in person or give us a call at 646-213-2321 for an online video consultation with Dr. Katz.