Difficulties in speech that many call “speech impediments” are common as language develops. Just don’t wait too long to seek help.

By Matthew Utley

Kids understand language long before they know how to speak and because of that bit of awkward timing it can be very frustrating for a child suffering from a speech impediment to figure out how to join the conversation. Speech-language pathologists don’t consider “speech impediment” to be a particularly helpful word, though. Speech is very complicated, and many skills need to develop concurrently in order for a child to speak. The American Speech Language Association prefers the terms “speech delay” or “speech disorder.” These things are fairly common.

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