It is estimated that about 6 to 8 million people in the United States alone suffer from some sort of speech disorder or impediment. Clearly, they are far more common than one may think. There are different types of speech impediments, ranging from carelessness when talking, mental disorders, or physical defects. However, out of the numerous speech impediments there are, these three are the most common:
The speech impediment that ranks the highest is stuttering. Stuttering is what happens when there is a repetition in speech. There are different kinds of stuttering, others stutter in a rapid fashion, while others do it very slowly. Stutterers usually repeat the first part of the word that they are saying. There are also others that stutter in the middle of the word and make that word sound very long.
Another type of speech impediment that is often confused with stuttering is stammering. Stammering happens when the speaker fails to express sounds. Because of the stammer, it can often be hard to begin sentences or words. Stammering is complicated in the sense that the facial muscles get involved. A common case for people who have speech impediments is the combination of stuttering and stammering. It is very possible that for these people, there are times when it is harder to get sounds out, and in others, it proves to be more difficult to say a word, or a part of a word without repeating it.
While many thing lisping is just a funny way of talking, it is actually a legitimate form of speech impediment. Lisping can result from a physical defect, such as a cleft palate. There are also types of lisping that result from negligent speech from the parents. When parents do not teach their children to speak properly, negligent lisping is often the result. Negligent lisping can also occur when kids who are still learning how to talk do not have a proper role model in talking. Then there is neurotic lisping, which is closely associated with mental disability.
Though these speech impediments are very different from one another, the result of having them is often the same. The person with the impediment has a difficult time talking and communicating with others. Speech impediments may also be a cause of self-consciousness, as other people may notice the difficulty in speech and make fun of the speaker.
While many speech disorders go away with time, there are still many that persist. For these cases, visits to speech therapists may be of help. Speech therapists can recommend exercises to help a speak overcome his particular impediment.
Guest post by Sam Briones, a freelance writer and also contributes at Technovate Translations. If not writing for the language and culture subject, she’s on the keyboard writing about fashion and pop culture.