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Speech disorders and the main causes

Speech disorders refer to the number of conditions that can cause a person to have a voice problem or when it is impossible to utter speech sounds in a correct and fluent manner. There are various reasons why speech disorders occur, that can range from mental illnesses and brain injuries that affect speech development, to genetic disorders like, loss of hearing or abuse of alcohol or drugs. It is not at all uncommon that the cause of some speech disorder remains unknown. In the great number of the cases, it is possible to cure the disorder with the help of a speech therapist, after determining the type of the disorder, as well as the cause of it. In some cases, surgery might help, if it's a physical impairment, although some disorders might be a result of some mental trauma.

Types of speech disorders

The fact is that there is more than a few types of speech disorders, at least according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Some of them are:

Aphasia is a result of some damage to the communication center in the brain due to either the brain tumor or some head injury, or stroke, and it results in problems that involve talking, writing and listening skills. Apraxia results in inability of the individuals in question to express themselves correctly and it is usually a result of some brain trauma. There is a difference between developmental and acquired apraxia, because the first type is present from the first day of life, while the second is a result of the injury. Articulation disorder is characterized by inability of the individual to pronounce certain sound, especially ‘s’ and ‘r’. The cause of this disorder is related to the tongue and either weak muscles or decreased control over this organ. People with this problem usually distort the problematic sound, or they produce another one instead. Cluttering speech disorder does not have a known cause, but the person in question usually speaks very fast or repeats some parts too frequently in order to be more comprehensible. Stigmatism or lisps is actually inability to produce particular speech sound, and there are interdental, lateral and palatal stigmatism. Dysprosody is a condition characterized by disrupted rhythm, intensity, and timing of the speech, and it is common in people with Parkinson’s disease, or those whose brain has been affected by tumor or stroke. Phonemic disorders are typical of those who cannot utter sounds like ‘c’ or ‘t’ correctly, so they utter an incorrect sound instead.

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