Kids Spot

TLC Pediatric Therapy is now a part of Kids SPOT's family of companies!



9 Speech-Language Disorders Commonly Diagnosed in Kids

Most children develop at their own rate, but certain red flags can appear when children don’t reach speech and language developmental milestones.

By age 5 kids should be able to communicate. Speech and language are different, and a child can have problems with just one or both. If you have concerns about your own child’s development, here are 9 speech-language disorders commonly diagnosed in kids.

Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder

This disorder is due to a developmental issue and does not reflect on intelligence. Children with this disorder cannot communicate their needs and wants as well as peers. This can also be the result of a seizure or traumatic head injury. Symptoms include a limited vocabulary, difficulty using words in a sentence, or using the proper tense.

Treatment should begin as soon as possible since this disorder can affect the child both socially and academically.

Speech Sound Disorder

This is often referred to as articulation disorder or phonological disorder. Kids with this problem have trouble making sounds clearly, which in turn makes them difficult to understand and process. A speech sound disorder can be caused by a developmental disorder like autism, a genetic issue like Down Syndrome, hearing loss, brain damage from Cerebral Palsy, or a specific injury.

A  speech language pathologist from TLC Pediatric Therapy can help correct this disorder.


This is also referred to as stammering and is considered a fluency disorder. We all can stutter at times, but when it becomes commonplace or only with certain triggers, it can become a diagnosed speech disorder. In addition to the verbal stutter, kids can also exhibit non-verbal behaviors like blinking or tics.

Apraxia of Speech (AOS)

With AOS, the brain and the speech functions are disrupted. A child may know what they want to say, but their brain is unable to send the proper message to the speech muscles to actually articulate it. Although the child could even write it down, he or she is unable to speak it. This particular disorder is not caused by brain damage, although scientists cannot pinpoint the cause. Some believe it is genetic.


Most people are familiar with this term and recognize what it is. There are actually five different kinds of lisps, and if a child of 4 still is lisping where a TH sound is made instead of an S sound, it is best to find a trained speech language pathologist (SLP) like those at TLC Pediatric Therapy to help correct the lisp.


Dysarthria is caused by muscle or nerve damage in the diaphragm, lips, or tongue. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Slurred or slowed speech
  • Limited tongue, jaw, or lip movement
  • Abnormal rhythm
  • Pitch changes in voice quality
  • Labored use of vocal chords

Dysarthria can begin prior to birth or develop afterward as a result of related medical conditions like muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.

Preschool Language Disorders

Receptive language skills include understanding gestures like shrugging and nodding, following directions, understanding questions, and pointing to objects or pictures.

Expressive language involves many essential skills such as asking questions, naming objects, using gestures, forming words into sentences, singing songs, and naming letters and numbers.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder

This disorder causes problems with the standard growth and development of the muscles of the face and mouth. It usually affects a child’s eating, talking, and breathing. Signs and symptoms include breathing through the mouth and having difficulty breathing through the nose, messy eating, overbite or underbite, and drooling beyond age 2.

Selective Mutism

Some children will not speak in certain situations. They may have an anxiety disorder, be extremely shy, or not want to be embarrassed. An SLP at TLC Pediatric Therapy can perform testing to determine the cause and the appropriate treatment.

Good language skills help your kids learn, behave, make friends, and ultimately boost their self-esteem. Contact TLC Pediatric Therapy if you worry that your child may be struggling with a speech language disorder. Our speech language pathologists can help!

As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (407) 905-9300 today!