Archive for November, 2011

November 28th, 2011

Speech Sound Problems-Why Me?

Parents often wonder why their child has a speech sound problem.  Some parents say their child is lazy.  I want to make it very clear that this is never the case.  When it comes to children with a few speech sound errors we don’t usually know why they are delayed, but we know they can learn the correct sounds.

Other children may be born with motor problems.  They may have cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome or other developmental difficulties. For those children we know the cause is the motor problem that is affecting the muscles of  the tongue and lips.   Speech therapy can also help these children, but they may continue to have some difficulty even when they’re older.

Some children have a disorder called apraxia.  It’s sometimes called verbal apraxia or childhood apraxia of speech. These children have difficulty planning and coordinating the tongue, lips and jaw.  They are often very difficult to understand. Speech therapy and daily practice is extremely important and progress can often be slow but they do improve.  Some children with apraxia are so difficult to understand that they get good at acting out what they want to say.  Speech-language pathologists often recommend teaching  signs and gestures to help them communicate until their speech sounds improve.   This video is an example of a child with apraxia who is difficult to understand.


As with all communication difficulties getting help early is important.  I still hear parents tell me that another health professional or family member told them- “He’s just a late talker”, “He’ll grow out of it”or “Einstein didn’t talk until he was 5.”  If you think your child has any kind of speech or language problem don’t wait.  Find a speech-language pathologist and get a professional opinion.  Check out these sites for more information;