Types of Speech Impediments & Language Disorders

Speech impediments and language disorders aren’t uncommon, as they can result in various degrees.

In other words, these communication disorders or impediments can either be subtle or severe. Here, the objective is to identify different speech impediments and language disorders.

Speech Impediment Types

If you have suspicions about such a condition, you might want to read along for insight into what they’re all about and how it affects individuals.

Also included in our discussion are the symptoms and causes of these conditions. Overall, this would be an exciting read.

About Speech Impediment

As the name implies, speech impediment is a condition where a person’s ability to communicate fluently is damaging impacted.

This affects the tone or resonance. As a result, affected persons cannot create understandable sounds or form words.

Common symptoms of speech impediment include added sounds, unintelligible speech, inappropriate pitch, omitted sounds, and use of gestures.

Substituted sound is another indicator of speech impediment. Speech impediments can adversely impact mental health and confidence when not addressed immediately.

Examples of Language Disorders

Language disorders are actual condition that makes it difficult to use and understand spoken language.

Now, this isn’t a problem with speech or hearing but instead with using and understanding spoken language. These disorders can be categorized into two; receptive and expressive.

This condition is usually noticed in children and comes with a wide range of symptoms, including difficulty organizing thoughts, following directions, and understanding spoken words.

These all apply to receptive disorders.

In the case of expressive language disorders, symptoms include difficulty finding correct words when speaking and struggling to formulate a clear sentence by piecing words together.

Other symptoms include repetition of questions or phrases when answering and improper use of tenses.

Persons having language disorders are also likely to use placeholders like ‘er’ during speech, skip important words during communication, and adopt short and simple words when speaking.

Spoken words may also be arranged in a skewed manner.

Different Types of Speech Impediments and Language Disorders

This section looks at various speech impediments and language disorders people suffer from. Also included are causes of such conditions.

With that said, what are these speech impediments and disorders? They include apraxia, dysfluency, ankyloglossia, dysarthria, and articulation errors.

  • Common Speech Impediments

More speech impediments and language disorder types include autism-related disorders, stuttering & other fluency disorders, and lisping.

Other related conditions include spasmodic dysphonia, selective mutism, speech delay types, and cluttering. Let’s take a further look at these.

i. Apraxia

Apraxia is a speech impediment known by several names, such as apraxia of speech, verbal apraxia, or dyspraxia. This neurological condition causes trouble in the free movement of sound-creating muscles.

While an affected person has a clear idea of what they want to say, they are handicapped by the inability to plan and sequence such words.

ii. Disfluency

This condition is identified by several symptoms, including adding different words or sounds, repetition of phrases, comments, or sounds, hesitation during the speech, pausing mid-speech, and elongating words.

This is caused by factors like brain trauma or infection, genetic factors, and environmental stressors.

iii. Ankyloglossia

This type of speech impediment is also known as tongue ties. It restricts tongue movement, which negatively impacts speech.

Symptoms include trouble swallowing, jaw pain, limited tongue movement, mouth breathing, difficulty using wind instruments, and problem breastfeeding in newborns.

iv. Dysarthria

A common characteristic of this condition is a slur in words due to a lack of control of speech muscles. This is a result of organ, brain, or nerve damage.

Symptoms of this condition include soft, slow, or rapid speech, nasal, hoarse, or breathy voice, and robotic, choppy, or slurred speech.

v. Articulation Errors

With this problem, affected persons have difficulty placing their tongues correctly to form speech sounds.

Symptoms include sound substitution, sound omission, speech errors, good addition, and lisping. This may be caused by nerve damage, changes in bones and muscles needed for speech, and hearing loss.

vi. Autism-Related Disorders

One of the effects of autism spectrum disorder is the impact on speech or communication.

As such, it’s not uncommon to find persons with autism having difficulty comprehending and effectively using words. This affects their ability to communicate, learn to read, or even write effectively.

vii. Stuttering & other Fluency Disorders

Stuttering happens in different ways, including repetitions, pauses, prolonging words or phrases, and proper stretching.

This condition can be triggered by several factors, including excitement or nervousness. Symptoms may include jaw tightening and excessive eye blinking.

viii. Lisping

This speech disorder is closely linked to difficulty with ‘s’ and ‘z’ sounds. This tends to be quite common, especially in children.

As a functional speech disorder, this problem can be corrected. However, early treatment tends to be the best option. Sometimes children can outgrow an interdental lisp.

ix. Spasmodic Dysphonia

Persons suffering from this type of speech impediment tend to experience spasming of the vocal cords, which tends to give off a hoarse, shaky, jittery, groaning, or familiar voice.

The problem can be addressed by visiting an SLP for diagnosis and treatment.

x. Selective Mutism

As the name suggests, selective mutism is a speech disorder where a person cannot speak in some or most situations while being physically capable of expressing themselves.

This leads to scenarios where kids can speak in specific settings (say home) but cannot do so in others.

xi. Speech Delay

This condition is also known by professionals as alalia and is a situation where a child isn’t making attempts to communicate verbally.

Speech-language therapists help resolve this problem by identifying the causes and intervening early enough.

xii. Cluttering

Cluttering is a real fluency disorder that results in a person’s speech being too jerky or rapid.

In some situations, both of these may apply. Symptoms appear in childhood; the earlier you treat them, the better.

People suffer from these most common types of speech impediments and language disorders. As always, it’s best to see a speech-language therapist to treat such a condition.