Most children make some mistakes as they learn to say new words. When these mistakes continue past a certain age, that is when a speech-sound disorder may be occurring. Every sound has a different range of ages when the child should make the sound correctly. See the chart below for typical speech sound development. Speech-sound disorders include problems with articulation, which is making sounds, and problems with phonological processes, which involves sound patterns.
An Articulation Disorder involves problems making sounds. Sounds can be substituted, left off, added or changed; these errors may make it hard for people to understand what someone is saying. For example, many children make a “w” sound for an “r” sound such as “wabbit” for “rabbit” or may leave sounds out of words such as “nana” for “banana.” Treatment involves demonstrating how to produce the sound correctly, learning to recognize which sounds are correct and incorrect, and practicing sounds in different words.
A Phonological Process Disorder involves patterns of sound errors. For example, substituting all sounds make it the back of the mouth like “k” and “g” for those in the front of the mouth like “t” and “d,” saying “tup” for “cup” or “das” for “gas.” Another pattern of sound errors is when children don’t follow the rule of speech that some words start with two consonants, such as broken or spoon. Instead, these children say only one of the sounds such as “boken” or “poon,” which makes it difficult for the listener to understand the child. Treatment involves teaching the rules of speech to children to help them say words correctly.
Many speech sound disorders occur without a known cause. A child may not learn how to produce sounds correctly or may not learn the rules of speech sounds on his or her own. Speech-language pathologists provide treatment to improve articulation of individual sounds, or to reduce errors in the production of sound patterns.
Chatterboxes offers quality Speech-Language & Occupational Therapy in Boston and Lexington, MA. We also offer flexible service options for your family. Call us today at 617-969-8255 or visit us at 121 Mt Vernon St, Boston, MA 02108.