What are the signs of speech problems?

Speech symptoms refer to a variety of disorders in which a person has trouble understanding or producing fluent speech. Speech symptoms can range from mild problems such as stuttering to severe problems such as aphasia (inability to speak).

Speech symptoms can arise for no apparent reason, or they could be linked to underlying problems with, or injury to, the brain or mouth. They may be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. Speech symptoms can occur in people of any age, sex or ethnicity.

While in many cases, especially in children, speech symptoms will resolve with time or speech therapy, they can also be a sign of a serious underlying problem. In cases in which problems comprehending or producing speech are sudden, a stroke or transient ischemic attack may have occurred. In elderly adults, speech problems can also be linked to dementia.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for any symptoms of stroke, such as changes in level of consciousness or alertness; paralysis or inability to move a body part; difficulty breathing; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, limbs, fingers or toes; confusion; double vision; difficulty seeing; or severe headache.

If your speech symptoms are persistent, or cause you embarrassment or difficulty in daily life, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with speech symptoms?

Speech symptoms may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.

Brain-related symptoms that may occur along with speech symptoms

Speech symptoms may accompany other symptoms affecting the brain including:

  • Confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment
  • Dementia
... Read more about speech symptomssymptoms


What causes speech symptoms?

Speech symptoms may be related to developmental problems (especially in children), or may occur later in life for reasons not known. Some speech symptoms, such as stuttering or problems with voice or comprehension, may be treated with speech therapy. Hearing problems often accompany speech problems in children.

Speech symptoms may also arise from a problem with the mouth, such... Read more about speech symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright:

This Article is Filed Under: Brain and Nerves