Why should you seek speech therapy if you notice difficulties with articulation (pronunciation and talking)?
· To improve a child’s ability to produce clearer speech.
· To improve a child’s ability to be understood by others.
· To improve a child’s ability to engage positively with other children and adults.
· To facilitate a child’s interactions with familiar (e.g. family members, peers) and unfamiliar individuals.
· To help reduce frustration in a child who struggles with getting their message across.
· To improve spelling/writing.
Left treated,difficulties with articulation (pronunciation and talking) can lead to:
· Difficulties forming friendships and engaging in positive social interactions with peers.
· Difficulties completing higher level education tasks.
· Difficulties being understood during interactions such as job interviews or when meeting new people.
· Difficulties developing literacy skills such as reading and writing.
Most children make some mistakes as they learn to say new words. A speech sound disorder occurs when mistakes continue past a certain age. Every sound has a different range of ages when the child should make the sound correctly. Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation (making sounds) and phonological processes (sound patterns).
Some adults continue to have problems from childhood, while others may develop speech problems after a stroke or head injury.
Some signs of an articulation disorder:
An articulation disorder as stated before involves problems with making/ producing sounds. Sounds can be substituted, left off, added or changed. These errors may make it hard for people to understand them.
Young children often make speech errors. For instance, many young children sound like they are making a "w" sound for an"r" sound (e.g., "wabbit" for "rabbit") or may leave sounds out of words, such as "nana" for "banana." The child may have an articulation disorder if these errors continue past the expected age.
Not all sound substitutions and omissions are speech errors.Instead, they may be related to a feature of a dialect or accent.
Consult a speech-language pathologist (SLP). The SLP will do formal and informal assessment to record sound errors. Hearing, language and an oral mechanism examination will also be done. The SLP may recommend speech treatment if the sound is not appropriate for the child's age or if it is not a feature of a dialect or accent or not related to hearing disorder. Treatments are very effective if you consult a qualified and an experienced SLP.
At what change SLP should be consulted?
You can consult a SLP at any age. If you have any concern regarding your child’s speech development, we recommend that you must contact a speech language pathologist.