Articulation Disorders F.A.Q.

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.