What is articulation?
Articulation is the process by which sounds, syllables, and words are formed when your tongue, jaw, teeth, lips, and palate change the air stream coming out of your mouth when you speak.
What is an articulation disorder?
When a child has difficulty producing sounds, syllables, or words correctly, the speech becomes difficult to understand. If this a developmental problem, then the child will outgrow the speech pattern. A true articulation disorder, however, persists over time and creates a challenging speaking enviroment for the child and parent.
Is this the same as 'baby talk?'
Actually, 'baby talk' can sound like an articulation problem because very young children naturally mispronounce sounds, syllables, and words. The difference is in the quality of articulation development measured over time in comparison with same-aged peers.
What does an articulation deficit sound like?
Sounds produced in error can usually be grouped into three categories: omissions, substitutions, and distortions. For example, an omission means a sound is left out, as in 'hou-' for house. Sound substitutions include one sound being exchanged for another, as 'tat' for cat. Distortions mean that the sound produced might or might not sound like the intended target sound.
What causes articulation problems?
Many are associated with physical handicaps such as a hearing loss or cleft palate. They may also be related to dental problems or a history of frequent ear infections. However, most articulation deficits or disorders occur independently of any physical disability.
Will a child outgrow this?
Speech intelligibility usually improves as the child grows, but some children will need direct service to eliminate persistent articulation errors. Every child, however, presents a unique communication profile, so ask a speech-language pathologist if you have concerns about your child.
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