Speech Articulation Therapy
A speech articulation disorder can make it challenging to produce certain sounds, syllables, and words. For instance, certain sounds may be distorted, altered, added inappropriately, or omitted entirely. This can make spoken words difficult for others to understand and potentially interfere with learning and socialization.
Most people can accurately produce a full range of sounds by the time they reach age 8. However, speech articulation disorders can affect both children and adults. In an adult, the issue may remain untreated from childhood, or it can develop after a traumatic brain injury or a stroke.
When Is Speech Articulation Therapy Needed?
Speech articulation therapy is an intervention provided by a speech-language pathologist to help a patient learn to produce speech sounds correctly. To determine whether it may be beneficial, several factors should be considered, including:
- Speech milestones – Language development as compared to standard guidelines
- Speech intelligibility – How well spoken words are understood by others
- Error patterns in speech – Sound distortions, substitutions, and omissions
- Oral motor skills – The strength, coordination, and control of the muscles in the mouth, jaw, tongue, lips, and cheeks
- Impact on daily living – Work or school performance and social interactions
- Certain medical conditions – Autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), stroke, oral cancer, laryngeal cancer, dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Guidelines for Speech Articulation Development
During childhood, speech articulation should develop predictably and sequentially. Here is a helpful guide:
Although proper speech articulation comes naturally to many people, it is truly an art form that requires the seamless coordination of multiple body parts and systems, including the lips, jaw, tongue, teeth, hard and soft palate, and vocal cords. If you would like to learn more about speech articulation therapy, contact Autumn Oak Speech, Voice, and Hearing to schedule an appointment with a speech-language pathologist in Friendswood, TX.