All parents are familiar with how painfully self-conscious children and teens can be. As veterans of childhood, we know that kids thrive on social feedback. Engaging with friends and peers, asking parents and mentors the tough questions, all while weighing reactions to different behaviors — this is how children grow into the adults they want to become.
Parents can also imagine only too well the isolation and embarrassment of a child suffering from a speech impediment. When everyday is an uphill battle to communicate with the world around them, it’s hard to focus on learning and play.
Parents don’t have to sit by and play silent witnesses while our kids live childhoods punctuated by speech issues. We are not defenseless and so, neither are they.
Speech therapy is an excellent resource, but it can also yield slow progress and be expensive and taxing on the child. Fortunately, speech problems could trace back to a bodily event much less complex, and much more manageable than a neurological oddity, or genetic fluke: the crowded airway which results in SDB, or Sleep Disordered Breathing, might also serve as a catalyst in the development of speech impediments.
Children with obstructed airways will have a harder time forming words due to decreased airflow, or oral misalignment. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids are also conditions associated with SDB, and create a definitive change in speech tone and resonance. SDB-induced obstructions block the nasal passage and larynx, and cause speech to adopt a mumbled, or nasally quality, similar to attempting to vocalize through a plugged nose, or full mouth.
No amount of telling our children that their speech impediment isn’t a big deal will keep them from feeling embarrassed to speak around friends and peers. The severity of this emotional turmoil only multiplies when coupled with the stress and fatigue accompanying a chronic drop in sleep length and quality due to apnea, explosive snoring, and nighttime mouth breathing, all of which are also symptoms of SDB.
And this is great news! If your child’s speech impediment is rooted in the physical difficulties of a blocked airway and SDB, that means there’s an easy, all-natural, permanent solution that can cure their symptoms and allow them to communicate freely for the first time.
Rather than dreading every time they have to speak out loud, kids should spend their childhood enjoying the conversations they share in the company of others. There is no reason speech impediments should leave a single child struggling to be understood, or avoiding the conversations and interactions that shape our kids into well-adjusted, socially apt adults.
If your child suffers from a speech impediment, and you believe it may be SDB related, my office offers free consultations and certified providers of Healthy Start, a non-invasive, proven treatment for various symptoms of SDB. Please feel free to stop in anytime, and give your child the gift of easy speech.