Language and Speech Disorders in Children



Children Mimic Speech 

Children learn language by mimicking what they hear. They pick up language skills best during their early childhood years before age five when their brains grow the most. Parents can help their children learn language skills by

  • Mimicking the baby’s first sounds and gestures back to it helps the baby learn how to develop speech.
  • Repeating what a toddler says correctly helps him learn how to pronounce words.
  • Talk to the child about what he sees.
  • Ask questions and listen to his answers to encourage conversations.
  • Read books and tell stories, sing songs, and share rhymes.
American Sign Language

If you know any American Sign Language (ASL), consider teaching your child how to speak that language as well.  Young children also quickly pick up on the use of hand gestures to communicate their wants and needs. ASL has helped children and adults of all ages who have difficulty with verbal expression develop the ability to communicate independently.
Factors Affecting Speech

Factors Affecting Speech

Communication difficulties related to speech may exist due to several different factors, among them, being:
The inability to understand what others say (receptive language) could be due to

  • Not hearing the words (hearing loss).
  • Not understanding the meaning of the words.

Difficulty using the language to communicate thoughts and ideas (expressive language) could be due to

  • Not knowing the words to use.
  • Not knowing how to put words together.
  • Knowing the words to use but not being able to express them.

Speech disorders are related to the malfunction of one or more of the body’s organs needed to produce sound or speech.

  • Difficulty with forming specific words or sounds correctly.
  • Difficulty with making words or sentences flow smoothly, like stuttering or stammering.

Language delay – the ability to understand and speak develops more slowly than is typical.
Language disorders are related to how the speech producing orders function.

  • Aphasia (difficulty understanding or speaking parts of language due to a brain injury or how the brain works).
  • Auditory processing disorder (difficulty understanding the meaning of the sounds that the ear sends to the brain)

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