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Health Tip: Spotting Speech Disorders

Here are potential warning signs

(HealthDay News) -- Speech disorders often result from abnormalities in development of a child's lips, teeth, tongue or soft palate. They can also be caused by hearing problems or by neurological conditions that impact speech.

These conditions may include difficulty pronouncing certain sounds or combinations of sounds, or disorders such as lisp or stutter.

The Children's Hospital of Cincinnati says it's important to diagnose and treat these problems early. The hospital says these warning signs could signal a speech disorder:

  • If your child can speak in complete words or sentences, but consistently leaves out letters or sounds from words.
  • If your child substitutes a sound or letter for one that is more difficult to say, such as substituting a "w" sound for an "r" or a "w" for an "l."
  • If words are distorted, elongated with extra syllables, or are slurred.
  • By age 2-3 months, if your child is not trying to make sounds and or is not making vowel sounds.
  • By age 6-7 months, if your child is not trying to make consonant sounds, especially b, d, m and n.
  • After 18 months of age, if your child is still only able to mostly make vowel sounds.
  • By age 3 or 4, if your child's speech is still very difficult to understand, and there are certain sounds that he or she cannot make.
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