There are several different facts about speech disorders to consider. According to the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association approximately 7.5 million people in the U.S. have trouble with speaking. Their difficulties cover a broad range of disorders. In fact, it is very possible you or someone you know has or has overcome a speech disorder. It’s important to understand facts about speech disorders so we can help those who have trouble speaking get their words out effectively.
One of the more common speech disorders is stuttering. Stuttering is when a person holds a single sound of word for a while or repeats the first sound in a word. It affects more than 3 million Americans. When having a conversation with a person who stutters, have patience. Rushing someone who stutters by filling in words or answering for them can actually make things worse. Keep reading for more facts about speech disorders.
Cluttering is similar to stuttering because it affects the flow and fluency of a person’s speech. Cluttering is actually a language disorder and not a speech disorder. The speech pattern of a person who clutters is often disorganized and has unnatural pauses. People who clutter are sometimes unaware of it. Do you know someone who clutters?
Articulation disorders maybe something you are more common with. Many children attended speech therapy to correct articulation problems. Lisping is one you maybe aware of; it is when the speaker replaces “s” and “z” sounds with the “th” sounds. Drew Barrymore is a famous actress that speaks with a lisp.
Some speech problems come from a lack of motor coordination. These people may have a hard time moving the muscles in their mouth to speak properly. Oral-motor speech disorder is believed to be linked to brain damage caused by an accident, stroke, or birth defect.
Cleft palate is common birth defect that can also affect speech. Cleft palate is a hole in the roof of the mouth. This causes a problem with the flow of air in the nasal passages. Cleft palate can also cause problems with the lips, teeth, and jaw needed for speaking. Cleft palate is often corrected by surgery, but some patience may still need speech therapy to overcome speech problems.
Fortunately for those with speech problems improvement can be made through various therapies. Many people with speech problems work with a speech pathologist. After studying a patient’s speech a plan of therapy is put together.
If you have a friend, family member, or co-worker who struggles with a speech disorder, your best bet is to talk to them about it. Ask them what you can do to help or how they like others to respond to their speech. Do they want to be corrected, reminded to slow down, or just have you listen with an open, judgement-free mind and wait patiently as the express their thoughts? Chances are, many people have never taken the time to ask this question and they will find your caring attitude very helpful.
What are some things you know about speech disorders that you feel others should know too? If you or someone you know has a speech disorder share your experience with us. Understanding what others are going through is important.
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