Understanding The Different Types Of Speech Impediments

Verbal communication is one of the most critical aspects of human life. It helps us convey our needs, express our feelings, and make sense of the world around us. Breakdown or discrepancy in this communication can pose everyday challenges for people. 

Speech impediments affect a person’s ability to be heard and understood. Different types of speech impediments occur on a broad spectrum, from pronunciation issues to lisps and stuttering. 

Speech is produced by combining the brain’s senses and physical processes. A person first decides to say something in the brain, and then the brain helps them carry out the commands required. To produce speech, air passes through the larynx or the voice box to produce sound vibrations. Other body parts, including the tongue, teeth, palate, and lips, also play a significant role in speech production.

Speech impediments arise due to different factors. In this post, we will dive deeper into the types of speech impediments and understand their differences. Let’s get started.

Types Of Speech Impediments

Types Of Speech Impediments

1. Apraxia

Apraxia is a type of speech impediment that causes trouble in the movement of muscles required to produce speech and sound. In this condition, the person’s brain knows what they want to say, yet they cannot plan, produce, and sequence their words accordingly. 

Simply put, in apraxia, the person’s brain functions adequately. They can write down what they want to say, and their speech muscles work properly. However, when they try to speak, the imbalance between their mind and speech muscles limits their ability to produce words. 

2. Dysarthria

Dystharia is the next one in our types of speech impediments. It affects a person’s articulation abilities. In dysarthria, the affected individual’s speech slurs, and they struggle with lip, jaw, and tongue movements. 

Dystharia is defined by:

  • robotic or choppy speech,
  • soft or rapid speech, and
  • breathy or hoarse nasal sound.

This type of speech impediment is generally caused by weakness or paralysis in speech impediments. The weakness depends on the type of damage, i.e., brain-related or organ-related damage.

Read more: Understanding Hikikomori – A Hidden Crisis Of Social Withdrawl

3. Ankyloglossia

Also known as tongue-tied speech impediment, Ankyloglossia is exactly what the name says. It is a condition where a person’s tongue is tied or attached to the bottom of their mouth. This severely restricts tongue movement, causing issues pronouncing ‘d,’ ‘s,’ ‘n,’ ‘z,’ ‘th,’ and ‘t’ – words requiring the tongue to touch the upper mouth palate. 

People with Ankyloglossia also face other issues apart from speech impediments:

  • trouble with swallowing, 
  • difficulty in breastfeeding as newborns,
  • having a limited ability to move the tongue,
  • difficulty in kissing or licking ice creams, etc. 

4. Disfluency

All types of speech impediments that break or disrupt the flow of speech are clustered under disfluency. Stuttering is one of the most common forms of speech impediment. Apart from this, other types of disfluency impediments include the following:

  • repeating certain words or phrases,
  • adding extra words or sounds into sentences,
  • elongating words,
  • replacing words, 
  • being hesitant while speaking,
  • pausing abruptly, etc.

Read more: Young Adults And Their Mental Health-Related Issues


Speech impediments are the type of discrepancies that arise in a person’s ability to speak fluently. They are caused by various factors, depending on which they are classified separately. We hope this list of the various types of speech impediments will help you learn more about one of the most commonly affecting conditions in people. 

Apart from speech impediments, there are other developmental disabilities that affect children. To learn more about them, click here

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