Diction Problems


My son is tongue-tied. My husband and I disagree on whether or not he also has a diction problem. I can't take my son to the doctor because he refuses to speak to anyone but direct family (those of us who live with him; he won't even speak to his grandparents). How can I tell, and what should I do about it?

Dr. Greene's Answer

The best way to determine whether or not he has a diction problem would be for a doctor or speech therapist to hear him talk. But if he will not talk at the office, perhaps a videotape would work, so they could get an idea how his mouth moves when he speaks.

They can get some idea from a physical exam (where the tongue-tie connects on the tongue and on the gum line–right on the tip of both is more likely to need surgery), but most kids with tongue-tie do not need treatment. But if there is a question about speech development, it makes sense to have that aspect looked at.

Last medical review on: September 27, 2008
About the Author
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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