Among the speech disorders seen in children, delayed speech and stuttering are important. The human infant as birth is structurally equipped with a kind of speech organs that can produce the possible sound. This function like other function develops through learning. The child’s early life is characterized by frequent crying, which marks an important period in speech development. An indicator of speech development is an increase in the usage o word. For example‚ in the first two months children usually use about seven or eight sound‚ and as they grow older‚ more and more sounds are used in their speech.
During the early stages, a child’s comprehension vocabulary is greater than his speech vocabulary. It is only by the tenth month that a child starts uttering words, with a gradual increase in the usage of words which may reach 250 by the age of two. By the third year the child learns the “rules” of language construction and starts speaking in sentences. Therefore, speech delay by a few months needs not to be taken seriously. However, if there is a considerable delay, it must be attended to immediately.
Among the children that need to be taken care of, are those who refuse to learn to speak at all or those affected by psychological mutest which may last for several months or years? These problems are serious as it is difficult for the person to learn speak at a later stage.
These problems are strong emotional disturbances. These were considered as psychotic symptoms earlier, but today they are taken to be neurotic symptoms. Emotional disturbance may appear in a child who just learning to speak but hesitate while speaking. if the child in this stage is compelled to speak clearly and fluently, he may develop a stammer or a Sutter. Therefore, today, therapists look more for emotional factors for shuttering than neurological or anatomical factors. For example, forcing a naturally left handed child to use his right hand‚ upsets the cerebral dominance and produces stuttering. But there are instances where such transitions are made without any side effect.
Stuttering refers to the interruption of the fluency of speech through blocked or repeated words and sound. Many people stutter occasionally under specific condition‚ e. g ‚ while addressing a gathering for the first time or facing an interview.