It’s not uncommon for children to have speech and communication problems. Language delays and disorders may also stem from a variety of psychological, physiological and environmental factors. But whilst some outgrow speech impediments later on, some kids carry it with them up to adolescence and adulthood. If your teen is still struggling with communication and articulation, it may either be a consequence of a psychological problem or a physiological one. Here’s how you can rule it out.
The Link between Mental Health and Speech
Self-esteem issues or depression can lead to speech and communication problems, and vice versa. Teenagers who have self-esteem issues tend to be highly self-aware and intuitive, which make them anxious, especially if it involves talking to other people. Hormonal changes, which occur when your teen hits puberty, may also contribute to the problem.
Correcting speech disorders should start early to prevent it from returning later in your child’s life, but if it only developed when your teen hit puberty, it may be a bit trickier. A speech-language pathologist will be able to assess and diagnose your teen’s condition. Some speech problems can be corrected through therapy, while some can be caused by brain damage or other serious health conditions.
Other Potential Complications
Jaw misalignment or malocclusions may also be possible causes of your teen’s speech issues. Malocclusion is a condition where the upper and lower jaws do not align correctly, forming a discrepancy between the upper and lower front teeth.
While jaw misalignment is hereditary, there are certain habits that can cause malocclusions, such as thumb sucking, pacifier use beyond age three, and more. A dentist will assess if the points of your teen’s molars fit the grooves of the opposite molars to diagnose malocclusion.
The dentist will then evaluate what type of occlusion your teen experiences and tailor the best treatment to correct it. If the case is not too serious, Denchic Dental Spa says that wearing braces will suffice. However, there are more complex cases that may require surgery or implant surgery to correct the misalignment.
Speech impediments can cause your teen to experience a great deal of anxiety that may later develop into a fear of public speaking. It is almost never an isolated case, which means that there is always a hidden cause. For your peace of mind and your teen’s well-being, it’s best to seek medical help early.