I hope this information can help you understand articulation disorders. If you think my approach may be right for you, I’m happy to provide a free 15-minute consult to discuss if speech therapy is the right choice for you or your child at this time.
What are articulation disorders?
Two types of disorders: Articulatory vs. Phonological
- Articulation Disorders: a failure to produce accurate speech sounds
- Phonological Disorder: a breakdown with the sound system in a child (which does result in articulation disorders)
- Not all articulation disorders are phonological disorders, but most phonological disorders do result in articulation errors
When should I seek speech therapy for an articulation disorder?
- Do NOT “wait and see.” If your child has an articulation disorder, it is important to start as soon as possible
What are red flags of an articulation disorder?
- If you can not understand a minimum of your child’s speech at the following percentages/ages:
- 75% at age 3
- 85% at age 4
- 95% at age 5
- If your child mispronounces words or sounds incorrectly in comparsion to same-aged peers in their sociolinguistic community*
*There is a difference between an articulation difference vs an articulation disorder!*
- Articulation difference: An educated speech therapist trained in bilingual therapy and bidialectical therapy understands the importance and simultaneously the limitations of research norms. Children may pronounce certain words and letters differently than what a research paper says. It is possible that their speech and language development is unique to their exposure to different types of linguistic backgrounds.
- Articulation disorder: It may be a disorder if a child’s pronunciation is different than the letter sounds that they hear in the speech and language environment in which they are being raised.
Keep in mind:
- There are varying dialects of one language (ex: Boston-American English, East Texan-American English, African-American English) and those can possibly influence articulation differences, and may possibly not be disorders
- In order to get an accurate diagnosis, choose a speech therapist that is trained in evaluating multiple language and dialects.