What is Articulation?
Articulation is the process of speaking. While it may feel natural to many, articulation is truly an art, involving incredible coordination of many body parts, including your tongue, lips, jaws and vocal chords to form sounds, syllables, and words.
What is an Articulation Disorder?
An articulation disorder is defined as a difficulty in producing a single or a few sounds or consistently mispronouncing specific consonants and vowels. Sounds can be substituted, left off, added or changed. A lisp, defined as the inability to pronounce the S sound and Z sound properly because of tongue placement, is a prime and familiar example of an articulation problem. Many individuals experience difficulty with the R sound, often substituting the letter W, saying wabbit instead of rabbit.
Sometimes the reasons behind the articulation disorder may be obvious like a diagnosis of cleft palate, cerebral palsy, hearing loss or even dental problems. Adults also can be faced with articulation problems due to hearing difficulties, dental or oral issue or cognitive disorders. Other times the cause is unclear.
What are signs of an Articulation Disorder?
Though mistakes are common when learning new words and sounds, a disorder occurs when a child reaches a certain age and is still making certain mistakes or when an adult is experiencing difficulty with pronunciation.
Here are some revealing questions to ask yourself:
- Is the child or adult easily understood by others?
- Do people perceive your child as being younger because of speech difficulties?
- How does your child’s vocabulary compare to his/her peer group?
- Is the child or adult experiencing frustration when trying to communicate?
How can Gr8 Speech help?
Despite the origin, articulation disorders are treatable. Early detection and treatment can positively impact your child, both academically and socially. Adults in particular respond well to the TeleSpeech model, where therapy is provided in the privacy of the home, rather than in an office populated with children.
It is essential to provide therapy by a licensed speech and language pathologist (SLP) to avoid social stigma and possible reading and writing disorders.
Please contact us to discuss how a simple screening may provide you with the perfect solution.