Common Speech Disorders and Therapy Options

Through speech, we’re able to convey a verbal message to the listener. It allows people to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and ideas to others.  

We shouldn’t take our ability to communicate for granted. People who have a speech disorder have trouble communicating. Speech disorders affect how a person creates or forms speech sounds. 

About 1 in 12 children have a speech disorder. Almost 18 million adults report having a problem with their voice. The good news is that there are different therapy options available for persons who have a speech disorder. 

Read this guide to learn about some of the therapies used to treat common speech disorders. 


Stuttering is one of the most common speech disorders in the United States. Several famous people have struggled with this speech disorder. James Earl Jones, the voice behind Darth Vader, experienced stuttering.

Stuttering causes a person to get stuck on a word or sound. It can lead to the repetition of parts of words. It can also cause a person to stretch a sound longer than needed.  

This speech disorder usually starts in childhood. Treatment for stuttering focuses on changing how the child speaks to help control the rate of speech. It also focuses on helping the child feel less tense when speaking. 


Apraxia prevents a person’s tongue and lips from producing sound. Their inability to move their tongue and lips in the right way causes this problem. Some people who suffer from apraxia may not be able to speak at all. 

This speech disorder can be caused by a stroke or a traumatic brain injury. A speech pathologist will treat apraxia by retraining the person’s muscles that are involved in speech. In therapy, the person will make repeated mouth movements. 


A lisp is a common functional speech disorder. A person who has a lisp can’t pronounce the sounds of s or z correctly. If a child still has a lisp after turning 5, the parents should take the child to a speech therapist. 

A speech therapist will provide pronunciation and annunciation coaching. This involves teaching the child how to pronounce a sound or word. It’s possible to eliminate a lisp. 


Brain damage from different types of neurological disorders can cause dysarthria. This speech disorder causes the speech muscles to weaken. This can result in slurred and slow speech.

Dysarthria can also lead to changes in voice quality and difficulty articulating. Treatment for dysarthria depends on the cause. A common treatment approach involves training the person to use his or her breath to speak more clearly. 

A person who suffers from one of these speech disorders or other disorders not found on this guide needs to undergo treatment. Speech therapy helps people suffering from speech disorders so that they can communicate with others. 

Seek Therapy of Speech Disorders

Speech disorders can affect a person’s ability to communicate. Anyone who has a speech disorder should seek speech therapy. This form of treatment can improve a person’s confidence and quality of life. 

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