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This Month In Health
  • Childhood Speech Impediments
    One of the most obvious developmental milestones in a child’s life is speech. With early intervention therapy and support, most children go on to talk and communicate just as well as their peers. Read >>
  • Vinegar: Great as It Seems?
    Could vinegar really protect your heart, prevent diabetes, reduce cholesterol, fight cancer, and help you lose weight? If so, why don’t more people turn to vinegar as the cure all for their medical conditions? Read >>
  • When Hugging Hurts
    Unless you’ve experienced it yourself, it’s hard to imagine the pain of fibromyalgia. Imagine feeling achy all the time, as well as fatigued and moody. On top of that, you have trouble sleeping and remembering things. Read >>
  • Step 1 Vs Breast Cancer
    As breast cancer affects so many people, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this dreaded disease and perform monthly breast self-exams. Knowing what to look for is the first step in winning the battle against breast cancer. Read >>
Health and Fitness News
I will be eternally grateful to you for how you healed by back!

I started training with Coach Berry when I was 61 years old.  For four months, I had suffered a great deal of back pain and knew I need to do something different. When I began with Coach, he asked me how I was feeling.  After a lifetime of training with a number of different trainers I could only say I didn't feel great.  My back pain caused me to see chiropractors and accupuncturists, but I found no relief.  After one deep tissue massage, Coach immediately had me feeling better.  After two months of training Coach had me back to 100%.  He knows what he is doing when it comes to training and injuries.  He trains people to perform exercises correctly to avoid injuries.  I have worked with many different trainers all over the San Diego County and Coach Berry is the best, most effective trainer I have meet.  I would highly recommend him to anyone who wants to improve their health and fitness levels.

Ron, age 62

Common Childhood Speech Impediments

Recognizing and treating common speech issues.

Parents often wonder if their children are developing normally. They compare their child to other children the same age, questioning whether their child is reaching developmental milestones on time. Since each child develops at his or her own pace, it’s difficult to know if a child is just slow compared to other children or if there is an actual problem that requires professional intervention.

One of the most obvious developmental milestones in a child’s life is speech. Speech impediments are a common problem in children, with the three most frequent speech disorders being disfluency, articulation disorders, and voice disorders. With early intervention therapy and support, most children go on to talk and communicate just as well as their peers.

If your child isn’t talking at the age you’d expect, is having difficulty expressing him or herself, or is making strange sounds, it’s time to talk with your pediatrician.

Disorder 1: Disfluency

The childhood speech disorder that most readily comes to mind may be stuttering. Stuttering is a common type of disfluency that causes a child to have trouble getting words out and repeats a sound, word, or several words while trying to speak. Speech may be interrupted or the sounds may be prolonged. The child may pause during speech or get frustrated and embarrassed at the trouble of communicating. These children may jerk his or her head while talking or blink excessively.

Fortunately, most kids outgrow stuttering as they age, but it’s important for parents and caregivers to be supportive. Parents, siblings, and friends should never make fun of a child who stutters or the problem may only worsen. Instead, be patient with the child, giving plenty of uninterrupted time to get their words out. Don’t rush a child or speak for them. If the doctor recommends therapy, give this time as well, as a speech disorder is not overcome in an hour.

Disorder 2: Articulation Disorders

Many children have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds. Rs and Ls are common letters in the English language that kids have trouble saying. Some children say words the wrong way by adding new sounds or leaving out important consonants. In these cases, it’s often hard to understand what the child is trying to say. Parents and siblings of the child may have an easier time deciphering his words, but those who don’t live with the child struggle to understand anything said.

This type of speech impediment is called an articulation disorder. The cause of this problem is unknown, though sometimes it’s due to the malformation of the muscles and bones responsible for speech or damage to the nerves or parts of the brain that control speech.

Therapy is usually successful in teaching a child the correct way to pronounce sounds and syllables. The therapist may need to teach a child how to move his mouth and tongue to say certain sounds.

Disorder 3: Voice Disorders

Though not as common, voice disorders happen when air from the lungs passes through the vocal cords and out the mouth or nose, causing the voice to sound hoarse or raspy. Sounds may break in and out and the pitch or volume may suddenly change. Kids may find it painful or uncomfortable to talk.

This type of disorder may be caused from stomach acid reflux, throat cancer, abnormal growths, a cleft palate, birth defects in the vocal cords, or nerve problems. A voice disorder could even be the result of constantly clearing the throat or prolonged screaming or singing.

As with any speech impediment, consult your child’s doctor. If a disorder is suspected, your doctor will refer you to a speech-language pathologist to confirm diagnosis. Therapy with a certified speech-language therapist may be necessary. Remember that early intervention improves prognosis. Children who begin therapy before 5 years of age usually progress the fastest.