Children with articulation (pronunciation and talking) disorders can become frustrated when others cannot understand them. This can affect their self-confidence and their ability to engage with others.
Speech pathologists can help children with articulation problems through a variety of strategies. These strategies will vary depending on the severity of the articulation disorder. For professional articulation speech therapy Glenelg services, click here.
What Is Articulation Therapy?
Children having difficulty saying certain sounds may benefit from a particular type of speech therapy called articulation therapy. The goal of articulation therapy is to correct these speech sound errors, enabling children to say words clearly and accurately. This type of speech therapy typically takes place over weeks or months, depending on the severity of your child’s articulation disorder.
Articulation disorders are a group of speech and language difficulties that cause people to produce incorrect or distorted speech sounds. They can affect how a person says their speech sounds or entire words, making it difficult for listeners to understand them.
These disorders can be caused by developmental speech impairments or acquired speech impairments that occur later in life due to conditions such as cerebral palsy, stroke and hearing loss. People of all ages can be affected by articulation disorders, and improvement is possible at any age.
Many different types of articulation therapy are available, with the most traditional and commonly used approach being “traditional articulation therapy”. This technique is based on working on one sound at a time, starting from the most accurate production of that specific sound in isolation. The sound is incorporated into syllables, words, and conversational speech. Each sound is worked on in this manner until it is mastered and no longer causes errors.
Your child’s Speech Pathologist will use various articulation therapy techniques to help improve their pronunciation, including visual cues, phonics and sensory feedback. They will work on age-appropriate sounds for your child, considering their typical speech development and the ages at which most children have typically mastered each sound.
If your child is experiencing articulation disorders, seeking help as soon as possible is essential. If they are not progressing meaningfully, their difficulties will likely continue impacting their daily lives and relationships. They will struggle to communicate with family members and friends and experience frustration trying to be understood. They may also have trouble forming friendships and communicating with their peers at school. For professional articulation speech therapy Glenelg services, visit Kid Sense.
Why Is My Child Needing Articulation Therapy?
If your child has difficulties producing particular speech sounds, it can make it difficult for them to be understood by others. This can impact their ability to form friendships, communicate with peers and family members, participate in activities and learn literacy skills, including reading and writing.
A professional speech pathologist can assess your child to determine if articulation therapy is the right treatment option. They will listen to your child’s speech to identify which sounds they have difficulty pronouncing and will provide drills and practice activities for you and your child at home.
The goal of articulation therapy is for your child to become more intelligible in all contexts. This can be achieved in several ways, depending on your child’s needs. A therapist can help improve your child’s speech clarity so that others better understand them and can participate in activities like talking with friends, participating in school and socialising at events.
Typically the first step in articulation therapy is working on the target sound(s) in isolation. This allows the therapist to determine how stimulable your child is for that sound, an essential indicator of how much work they need to do to produce the sound correctly.
Once your child can produce their target sound(s) in isolation with high accuracy (80% approx), they will be ready to progress to the next step in articulation therapy. This is where they will start to produce their target sound(s) in syllables. For example, if your child has trouble making the sound /r/, they may be introduced to syllables such as ‘art’, ‘to’ and ’ut’.
After the syllable level, your child will practice their target sound at the word and sentence levels. For example, suppose your child is working on the sound /s/. In that case, they will practice sentences such as ‘That’s my car’ and narrative (or conversational) tasks to support the generalisation of their new productions in unstructured contexts.
In the final step of articulation therapy, your child will begin to produce their target sound(s) in natural conversation with you. You can help your child to achieve this by subtly correcting them if they have an error (e.g., “That’s my car.”). Your child will also need many opportunities to practice their target sounds in natural settings at home and with their peers. For professional articulation speech therapy Glenelg services, click here.