Categories of Speech Defects

Most of the major speech defects are found within five main categories:

  1. Speech sound disorders including articulation problems (difficulty producing specific sounds) and phonemic (difficulty with sound distinctions of language) disorders.
  2. Fluency problems such as stammering and cluttering (rapid, slurred speech).
  3. Voice disorders, including problems of pitch, voice quality and volume.
  4. Delayed receptive (understanding) or expressive language, characterized by a child’s slow language development.
  5. Aphasia, the partial or total loss of the ability to speak or understand language.
  6. Dysarthria where the function of specific speech muscles are impaired due to a neurologic condition or brain injury.
  7. Apraxia which results in inconsistent production of speech sounds and rearranging sounds within a word.

Your child may have language concerns in one or more of these categories, such as delayed speech with articulation problems. It is important to have your child monitored for developmental milestones and diagnosed early and accurately if you notice any speech delays or other communication problems.