There are a wide variety of disorders that can affect your speech, but all of them fall under two main categories: functional and organic. Each disorder under these categories is different, because each im-pacts speech in a different way.
Below you’ll find some of the more common articulation & phonological speech sound disorders we treat here at Sol Speech & Language Therapy.
Speech sound disorder is an umbrella term for any difficulty with the creation of speech sounds.
However, there are a number of different types of speech sound disorders, which we’ll explore below.
Speech Therapy Treatments For Articulation Disorders
There are many different elements of speech, each of which affects your communication. One particular element is articulation – how we produce different sounds using different parts of our mouth, called our articulators.
Your articulators include:
- Your teeth
- Your lips
- Your tongue
- Your upper gum ridge
- Your hard palate (the hard part of the roof of your mouth)
- Your soft palate (the soft part of the roof of your mouth)
- Your uvula
- Your pharyngeal wall
- Your glottis (the space between your vocal cords)
When there’s an issue with one or more of these, it can cause articulation disorders.
To understand how these articulators work, consider the word “smoothest”. Say it aloud, slowly, and notice how the articulators in your mouth move as you do. For somebody with an articulation disorder, they may have trouble saying this and many other words.
Speech therapy treatments from Sol Speech & Language Therapy can help.
Read on below to find out more about individual articulation speech sound disorders, and how speech therapy services can help.
Contact Sol Speech & Language Therapy today.
Speech Therapy Treatments For Childhood Articulation Disorders
It’s pretty normal for kids to say things incorrectly as they learn to speak. As your baby first learns to make sounds, they’ll likely start with sounds like AH, BAH, WAH, PUH, MAH.
This is because they’re fairly simple to make – other than your lips, they don’t demand difficult move-ments or sound production. So when your child first learns words, they might replace more complex sounds with these easier sounds.
However, as your child grows older, they should be able to learn to make increasingly more complex sounds, such as /f/ and /s/.
If your child has an articulation disorder, they may have problems making sounds and forming particular speech sounds properly (e.g. their /s/ sounds like th).
Expected Speech Development Milestones
Every child is different, so every child advances at a different speed.
However, there are certain benchmarks children learning English as a first language should be able to reach. If you notice your child falling significantly behind with any of the following, it could be a sign of a larger issue.
Before 3 months, your baby is unlikely to make any sounds other than crying.
But by 3 months, they should be able to make cooing sounds – a mix of laughter and vowel sounds – as well.
At 6 months, your baby should be laughing, making more playful cooing sounds, and beginning to make simple babbling sounds.
This may include sounds like PUH, MAH, DAH, or BAH.
By their first birthday, your baby should be putting some simple sounds together to make sort of multi syllable proto-words.
They’re likely to say their first few actual words around this age as well.
At this point, your child’s vocabulary should be growing, and they should be able to create most sounds in the creation of words.
Those familiar with your child will likely understand what they’re trying to say, though strangers might have a harder time.
At this point, your child should be able to make every sound required for English vocabulary.
They may still make occasional errors with more complex sounds, however, like -SH, -CH, -NG, or -TH.
If your child seems to be falling behind with the above benchmarks, it could be a sign of an articulation disorder.
Book your appointment today with Sol Speech & Language Therapy, and we’ll work with your child to overcome their articulation disorder and communicate more clearly.
Speech Therapy Treatments For Childhood Apraxia Of Speech
Childhood apraxia of speech is a unique motor neurological disorder related to your child’s muscles required for speech.
In most cases, the muscles themselves are fine, but the part of your child’s brain that controls these muscles may be impaired. This means it’s difficult for your child’s mind to send the signals to these muscles that influence speech.
There are a number of different signs and symptoms of childhood apraxia of speech. If you recognize the following in your child, it may be a sign of this disorder:
- Delayed onset of speech or no speech
- Not being able to form certain sounds
- Emphasizing the wrong syllable in words
- Distorted sounds
- Mixing up sounds
- Jerky transitions from sound to sound
- Inconsistency in speech errors – making a different error each time
- Visibly struggling to make sounds (groping)
Apraxia of speech can affect adults as well. In most cases, it’s either a holdover from apraxia of speech that was never treated as a child (less common in the United States), or a result of stroke or traumatic brain injury.
Regardless, if you or your child is struggling with apraxia of speech, speech therapy treatments from Sol Speech & Language Therapy can help.
Where possible, we’ll provide sound and mouth movement exercises, work with you to find alternative ways to create target words or phrases, and follow a research based treatment plan for apraxia.
If necessary, we can explore other possibilities as well, including the use of AAC (alternative & augmentative communication) methods.
Apraxia of speech does present barriers, but speech therapy can help you overcome them. With early and frequent intervention, many children with apraxia of speech can go on to have relatively normal speech patterns. Book your appointment today with Sol Speech & Language Therapy to find out more.
Speech Therapy Treatments For Phonological Disorders
Phonological disorders are similar to articulation disorders in that they affect speech. However, phono-logical disorders are related more to the linguistic aspects of speech – that is, the words themselves. Articulation disorders are related to the motor aspects of speech – the muscles that control it.
Sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate between the two, since the result is often the same – difficulty speaking.
Children with a phonological disorder have difficulty organizing the various patterns of sounds they can make into a language system in their brain. There are several different ways this can appear.
One example is called “fronting”.
With fronting, your child may replace sounds created in the back of their mouth with sounds created in the front of their mouth.
Back sounds include sounds like KAH and GAH. If your child replaces these sounds with front sounds – like TAH, DAH, BAH, etc – it could be a sign of a phonological disorder.
Speech therapy can help.
Whereas an articulation disorder is a physical setback, a phonological disorder is a learning disability related to their understanding of language.
Someone with a phonological disorder is perfectly capable of making the sounds they need to make. They just have trouble recognizing when they ought to.
Just as with apraxia of speech, the speech therapy approach here is a little different.
Your speech therapist will work with you or your child to understand where their errors are. From there, they will practice the correct versions of these sounds with your child, helping them better understand the rules of speech.
Phonological disorders can be frustrating for both you and your child, but speech therapy can help.
Book your appointment today with Sol Speech & Language Therapy to find out how.
Book Your Appointment With Sol Speech & Language Therapy Today
Whether you or your child’s speech concerns are related to a functional disorder such as an articulation disorder or a phonological disorder, or if it’s more neurologically based, as in apraxia of speech, Sol Speech & Language Therapy can help.
We’ll work with you or your child to help develop strategies to get around these barriers.
If you suspect your child may have a speech disorder, book your appointment right away.
With early intervention, many children can go on to enjoy speech that’s clear and easy to understand.
These disorders are roadblocks, but they don’t need to stop you or your child.
Book your appointment with Sol Speech & Language Therapy today.
Book a consultation today to find out how.