Articulation speech disorders are named as such because they affect the way someone is able to articulate certain sounds. Speech is a complex function, and it involves the precise coordination of the lips, tongue, teeth, palate, and respiratory system–something we take for granted, but not a given for someone with an articulation disorder.
If your child has an articulation disorder, they may have problems forming particular speech sounds such as an “s” sounding like a “th.” They also may not be able to produce a sound at all, a common example being the “r” sounding like a “w.”
Phonology refers to the relationship among the speech sounds that make up the foundational components of language. Children may struggle to use accurate speech sounds in the correct position. This can manifest itself in switching letters like “d” and “g,” or in some instances, they’ll leave sounds out of words entirely, such as the “k” in “like.”
Even though children with phonological disorders are often physically able to make all the speech sounds, it can be much more difficult to understand them than children with articulation disorders due to the fact that they often struggle with multiple sounds as opposed to just one.
Consistent treatment from a licensed Speech Language Pathologist can significantly improve the ability of a child to produce the correct sounds, and in many cases, can correct their speech issues entirely.
A common approach to articulation disorders is to show the child what producing the correct sound looks like from a motor-based perspective and to work on it like you would train muscles. For phonological disorders, a group of sounds with similar error patterns are targeted to help a child internalize the rules of phonology and to apply them to other sounds within that pattern.
If your child is demonstrating symptoms of articulation and/or phonological disorders, it’s never too early to get help. Get in touch with Allcare Therapy Services today!