Speech Sound Disorder: What to Look For

All children shorten and simplify language sounds as they are developing; if a child continues to use immature, simplified speech—omitting or substituting some sounds—when his peers are producing words clearly, he may have speech sound disorder. Additional symptoms include an unusually hoarse, raspy or nasal voice, abrupt changes in the pitch or volume of speech, and running out of air during speaking. In general, if other people, such as teachers and peers, have a difficult time understanding what a child is trying to say, he may have the disorder. Speech sound disorder is usually present from early childhood, though symptoms can be manifest later, as well.