The Effects of Lisp and Other Communication Disorders on Social Development

Intermingling with peers and adults remain of great importance in a child’s early stage of development. During childhood, building good relationships benefit a child’s mental and emotional well-being. Interactions present a vast amount of learning opportunities for children. Unfortunately, not every child is born with the necessary components of communication development. In some major studies conducted by therapists and pathologists, it has been found that inadequate social communication imposes negative effects on a child’s social and personal achievement.

There are many aspects of the field of communication disorders. Some studies have shown that speech impediments affect academic and career development. However, a primary and more evident effect is seen in the social development of children.

Communication disorders may stem from technical or motivational issues. A technical disorder such as Lisp is an articulation problem resulting to unintelligible speech. Lisping, however, is considered temporary as most of the time, it is caused by a gap between a child’s front teeth resulting in an /eth/ sound when pronouncing s or z. It only causes problems when young children carry over their lisping to adulthood. That even with the regrowth of permanent teeth, they have become used to pronouncing the letters in a peculiar way. Motivation disorders, on the other hand, include speech and language problems within the autism spectrum.

Children with communication disorders, no matter how minor, often do not attain the essential abilities to successfully interact with others or to put it simply – make friends. Therefore, they feel divided, embarrassed, and disconnected from others because they cannot effectively communicate their feelings and ideas. Without proper socialization, it is difficult for a child to even attempt to work toward goals in other areas.

The Importance of Communication

Regardless of disorder, lack of communication in children does not give opportunities for their personalities to develop. If a person experiences low communication for a long period of time, it may reach a point when the person can no longer be taught of how to talk and interact with others. More than the ability, children who do not exercise communication often will lack the motivation to do so in the long run.

With that said, it is fair to conclude that speech and language disorders must be treated in order to improve a child’s communication abilities. In addition to their social skills, it will also improve their academic and career development leading to overall personal success.

The Challenges of Treating Communication Disorders

It is dangerous for a child to be labeled incorrectly as having a communication disorder due to its social implications such as:

  • The child being treated differently by teachers or parents.
  • The child being ignored by peers.
  • Adults may underestimate the child’s abilities causing failure to reach social and academic potential.

The difficulties in proper diagnosis reach across all kinds of disorders, including communicative, developmental, and physical disorders. Sometimes, adults associate disorders with low performance in school. However, a child’s slow development may be caused by other factors affecting their lives. The most common of which are child-parent relationships and behavioral problems. Lack of attention and communication of parents to their child may also result in under-developed communication skills.

Hence, when you have something different about your child, the best thing to do is to consult a specialist. Moreover, clinicians must be extremely thorough in conducting tests to determine the type of disorder a child has. A right diagnosis will result in the proper method of training or therapies applied to your child to improve his/her communication abilities and in return, develop social interactions with peers and adults alike.


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