Are you or your child facing speech and other communication problems for some time and you are clueless about how did it occur, what to do and whom to consult? Don’t panic! Your problems can easily be cured!

My Child is Still not Showing Signs of Speaking!

There are many children who develop speech and language problems at a critical age. The first few years is very crucial for a child to learn and develop communication skills. It is because the synaptic density – that is, the neural interconnections – is the maximum at the age of 2-3 years, which means that the learning capability of the child attains its peak point at this time. So it is very important for you as the parent of a child with speech or language difficulties to intervene into the matter as early as within first 3 months of age, and to start a proper treatment at a recognised speech therapy clinic in Kolkata as early as possible.

If a child is deprived of a good hearing health, then he/she might suffer from delayed speech problems. So it is your responsibility to make sure that your child is given full access to the hearing world and at the appropriate time, delaying which will result in a delay of all the major developmental skills necessary for the child. Therefore, you must participate in early intervention programs to diagnose if there is any hearing disorder present in your child. Hearing loss is a major factor that largely contributes to a delayed development in every aspect in the child’s life, starting from delayed speech to delayed cognitive development. It is because of the fact that if a child does not hear properly, how will he/she speak and learn?

What to do in Case of an Adult having Speech Disorders?

However, apart from children, it might also be the case of an adult – which might be you, your near and dear one or someone you know, especially after being affected by stroke – who is suffering from speech and/or language disorders. It is therefore, important for you to know everything about different speech disorders, their causes and how do certified Speech Language Pathologists at any certified speech therapy clinic in Kolkata, manage these issues.

Why are there Different Symptoms for Different People with Speech Disorders?

There are several types of speech disorders, each having various signs and symptoms. Let us have a quick glance at some of the common speech disorders –

  • 1. Apraxia of speech (AOS) – It is an acquired oral motor speech disorder which makes the affected person hard to speak. It involves the consistent rearranging certain sounds or syllables of a word, such as saying ‘topato’ instead of ‘potato’; ‘balloon’ becomes ‘banoon’ or ‘badoon’; ‘puppy’ becomes ‘buppy’, and the like.
  • Causes – In most of the cases, Apraxia is caused due to the presence of a lesion in the left dominant hemisphere (usually the left) of the brain – which is typically in the frontal and the parietal lobes. However, according to Speech Language Pathologists at any recognised speech therapy clinic in Kolkata, there is a possibility of apraxia being caused from a lesion in the non-dominant hemisphere (usually the right) of the brain. The factors that give rise to these lesions include stroke, brain injuries or brain trauma, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, types of dementias, etc.
  • Treatments –
    • Speech therapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Physiotherapy or Physical therapy
  • 2. Dysarthria – It is a form of motor speech disorder which arises out of neurological injury of the motor component associated with the motor speech system. It is characterised by a poor articulation of the phonemes or sounds- which are the basic elements of every speech. In other words, dysarthria involves the difficult or unclear speech articulation which is otherwise linguistically normal.
  • Causes –
    • Degenerative diseases
    • Traumatic brain injury
    • Brain tumor
    • Stroke
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Hypothermia
  • Treatments – A variety of techniques – generally exercises – is used by Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) to treat dysarthria by increasing the strength of the articulator muscles, which include correction of deficits in –
    • Rate of articulation
    • Prosody – appropriate emphasis on different sounds
    • Intensity – loudness of voice
    • Resonance – the ability to alter the vocal tract and other resonating chambers that are responsible for the production of correct speech sounds
    • Phonation – the control of vocal folds for an appropriate voice quality
  • 3. Dyspraxia – Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia (DVD) is a childhood developmental disorder which affects the brain, thus causing speech delays in a child. It is found mainly in children, and therefore it is also termed as Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS).

Dyspraxia is a milder form of Apraxia – that is to say – while Dyspraxia is a fine and/or gross motor skills difficulty, Apraxia on the other hand, is a complete loss of motor skills, thus impairing speech of a person completely. Children with Dyspraxia might face difficulties in saying sounds, syllables and words. This is not a result of muscle paralysis or weakness. It occurs when the brain faces problems in properly planning which body part that is required for speech (e.g. lips, jaw, tongue) should be moved at what time. In simple words, the child is well aware of what he wants to say, but his brain fails to move the muscles of the speech articulators needed for him to say it out.

  • Causes – The exact cause of DVD/CAS is unknown. It occurs when the brain is affected. Some SLPs at any renowned speech therapy clinic in Kolkata, suggest that the possible causes include genetic syndromes and disorders.
  • Treatments – Although there is no cure for Dyspraxia, one-on-one therapy sessions with SLPs and by participating in proper interventional programs, it can be managed. The therapy sessions include –
    • Speech therapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Physiotherapy or Physical therapy
  • 4. Stuttering – Also known as stammering, it is a speech disorder in which a person’s speech is interrupted by involuntary repetitions, silent pauses or breaks, unusual prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases.
  • Causes –
    • Social settings
    • Hereditary – family history of stuttering, family dynamics
    • Genetic mutations
    • High-stress environments
    • Developmental history of the stutterer
    • Brain injuries caused due to stroke
  • Treatments –
    • Speech therapy
    • Breathing exercises
    • Counseling and educating parents
    • Developing a positive attitude in the stutterer
  • 5. Puberphonia – It is the habitual and continuous use of prepubertal high-pitched voice even after puberty. It typically occurs to a male, and they tend to retain their childhood voice even after attaining puberty.
  • Causes –
    • Late development of sexual maturity
    • Hero worship for older boy or sibling
    • Emotional stress
    • Non-fusion of the thyroid laminae
    • Hypogonadism – non-secretion or under-secretion of hormones
  • Treatments –
    • Voice therapy
    • Speech therapy
    • Larynx manipulation
    • Surgical therapy
    • Vocal exercises

To conclude, if you feel you are facing difficulties in speaking recently, seek a proper treatment from a well-known speech therapy clinic in Kolkata.