Speech Sound Disorders
Speech sound disorders is an umbrella term referring to difficulty with motor production or phonological representation of speech sounds (ASHA, n.d.). A child with a speech sound disorder may struggle to say certain sounds in isolation or in words. Additionally, a child with speech sound disorders may be more difficult to understand, especially for family and friends. Speech-language pathologists diagnose speech sound disorders by assessing the sounds a child can/cannot say during a formal articulation assessment.
There are three types of Speech Sound Disorders: Articulation Disorder, Phonological Disorder, and Motor Speech Disorder (Childhood Apraxia of Speech or Dysarthria).
- Articulation disorder: impacts the motor aspects of speaking. For example, the child will have difficulty saying one sound in isolation.
- Phonological disorder: impacts the linguistics aspects of speaking. For example, the child has the ability to say one sound in isolation but will inappropriately use the sound in words and conversation.
- Motor speech disorder: impacts the child’s ability to motor plan and/or motor execute during speaking. It is characterized by childhood apraxia of speech and dysarthria.
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech impacts the motor planning of speaking. The child may struggle with the movement required between sounds, syllables, and words.
- Dysarthria impacts the motor execution of speaking.
It is important to note that a child may present with a mixed speech sound disorder. Therapy needs to be individualized to the child to help target speech sound errors.
Treatment for speech sound disorders may look like:
- Learning the correct way to make sounds
- Learning to tell when sounds are right or wrong
- Practicing sounds in different words
- Practicing sounds in longer sentences
If you have any concerns or questions regarding your child’s speech, please reach out to a speech-language pathologist.
Resources for families:
-Samantha Graffius, M.S., CCC-SLP
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.) Speech Sound Disorders: Articulation and phonology. Retrieved February 28, 2022 from https://www.asha.org/practice-portal/clinical-topics/articulation-and-phonology