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Behavioral Problems Caused By Speech Issues?

Speech & Behavioral Issues

Speech is such a vital part of our lives. As a family therapist, I believe communication is the core of all of our relationships and what we think about ourselves.

In the case of children, it is important to be aware of proper child speech development and when a speech therapist might be needed. In some instances, parents come to see me frustrated because their child is misbehaving and having severe tantrums, and in our first consultation, I notice that there is a speech delay. Speech delays can affect a child’s behavior because they get frustrated when they cannot communicate what they want to say. As children get older and begin to attend school, speech issues can affect their academic performance, and in these cases, some parents think their children have learning disabilities when they don’t.

I asked Avivit Ben-Aharon, MS Ed., MA CCC SLP, who is a Speech Therapist, co-founder and clinical director of Gr8 Speech Inc. to explain how would a parent know when their child has speech is a problem that requires clinical intervention. Here is what she said:

“Learning to speak is a complicated process. Though communication begins with babbling, the actual art of articulation involves incredible coordination of many body parts including your tongue, lips, jaws and vocal chords. Try making the sound of the letter B with your tongue in the front of your mouth instead of the back. With a slip of the tongue, you have totally imparted the wrong message.

And while certain speech mispronunciations can be viewed as part of a child’s charm when they are younger, there are specific speech milestones. Each sound is expected to be produced clearly by a certain age. Interestingly it is different for boys and girls.

Here are some revealing questions to ask yourself:

  • Is he/she easily understood by others?

  • Do people perceive them as being younger because of speech difficulties?

  • Is he/she experiencing frustration when trying to communicate?

There is a common misperception that speech disorders can be outgrown. And sometimes they can. But generally, articulation disorders, like saying “lellow” instead of “yellow” requires the intervention of a licensed speech and language therapist who specializes in working with children specifically on articulation. And while saying “nana” instead of “banana” may be endearing at age three, by age four that pattern of speech should be corrected.

Early detection and treatment can positively impact your child, both academically and socially. A simple screening may give you the answer you need.”

Avivit Ben-Aharon, MS Ed., MA CCC SLP is co-founder and clinical director of Gr8 Speech Inc., an innovative  online speech therapy program, which utilizes video conferencing technology to provide live, interactive, highly individualized services worldwide. For more information, please call 954-247-8757 or visit

Marriage and Family Therapist

To Your Child's Success!

Your Therapy Friend,


Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: and follow her on Facebook at:

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