Articulation is the production of speech sounds. An articulation disorder occurs when a child does not make speech sounds correctly due to incorrect placement or movement of the lips, tongue, velum, and/or pharynx. It is important to recognize that there are differences in the age at which children produce specific speech sounds in all words and phrases. Mastering specific speech sounds may take place over the course of several years. By age 7, most children have mastered all their speech sounds and are generally intelligible (understandable) to unfamiliar listeners.
PHONOLOGICAL PROCESS DISORDER
Phonology refers to the speech sound system of language. A phonological disorder occurs when a child is not using speech-sound patterns appropriately. A child whose sounds vary from the speech typical for their stage of development or who produces unusual simplifications of sound combinations may be demonstrating a phonological disorder. This can take some time to remediate since these errors are unusual and the child has sometimes developed irregular compensatory strategies to make themselves understood which makes them difficult to understand.
Stuttering is a communication disorder that involves disruptions/disfluencies in a child's speech. Stuttering often includes repetitions of words or parts of words, as well as prolongations of speech sounds. This can affect children as young as two years of age all the way into adulthood. Early intervention is key to ensuring stuttering issues are nipped in the bud and your child is taught how to self-monitor this condition.
VERBAL DYSPRAXIA OR APRAXIA OF SPEECH
Apraxia of speech is an impaired ability to plan and sequence the motor movements necessary to produce speech in the absence of any muscular problem. This is a complex condition and often co-occurs with other diagnoses.
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