What is an articulation disorder?
Articulation disorders refer to errors in speech sounds by mispronouncing, substituting, or leaving out the sound. It is age-appropriate for children at certain ages to be producing errors with particular sounds. However, if a child is producing an error with a sound that they should have acquired, they may have an articulation disorder. Articulation disorders may impact a child’s speech intelligibility when communicating with others.
What causes an articulation disorder?
An articulation disorder may be attributed to hearing loss, neurological disorders, physical impairments such as cleft lip or palate, vocal abuse or misuse, hypotonia, oral-motor skills, or difficulty with placement of articulators. However, the cause of the disorder is often unknown.
How do I know if my child has an articulation disorder?
Children that are unintelligible to others at age 3 or older may be demonstrating an articulation disorder. Additionally, if they are unable to say sounds that the majority of their peers have mastered, they may be showing signs of an articulation disorder. If you are unsure of what age your child should be making certain sounds, contact a speech-language pathologist for more information.
How can I help treat my child’s condition?
If your child has an articulation disorder, intervention and therapy by a speech-language pathologist is generally recommended. The therapist will assist your child to produce correct articulator (tongue, lips, teeth) placement and voicing to generate the sound. Practice outside of therapy sessions is very important to achieve progress.
Our Approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy
At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, our speech-language therapists will evaluate your child to find their exact articulation errors and a variety of speech strategies will be implemented to help your child achieve their goals.