Articulation is the process by which sounds are formed when your tongue, jaw, teeth, lips, and palate alter the air stream coming from the vocal folds. Sounds are learned in an orderly sequence. Some sounds, such as “p,” “m,” and “b,” are learned as early as 1 year of age. Other sounds, like “s,” “r,’ and “l,” often are not completely mastered until the early school years. Children should make all the sounds of English by 8 years of age but many children learn these sounds much earlier.
Someone has an articulation problem when he or she produces sounds, syllables or words incorrectly so that listeners do not understand what is being said. An articulation problem sometimes sounds like baby talk because many very young children do mispronounce sounds, syllables, and words. But words that sound cute when mispronounced by young children interfere with the communication of older children or adults.
Misarticulation is not any type of physical disorder, it may be recover 100%. But need of proper speech therapy.
Types of sound errors
Most errors fall into one of three categories: omissions, substitutions or distortions. An example of an omission is “at” for “hat” or “oo” for “shoe.” An example of a substitution is the use of “w” for “r” which makes “rabbit” sound like “wabbit,” or the substitution of “th” for “s” so that “sun” is pronounced “thun.” When the sound is said inaccurately, but sounds something like the intended sound, it is called a distortion.
What causes an articulation problem?
Articulation problems may result from a hearing impairment. Children learn their speech sounds by listening to the speech around them. This learning begins very early in life. If children have frequent ear infections during this important listening period and subsequently suffer from glue ear, they may fail to learn some speech sounds.
Articulation problems may also be related to a weakness of the oral muscles.
Causes of Articulation Disorder:
For many children the cause of oral or motor dysfunction articulation disorder comes from brain damage or neurological dysfunction. For other children, however, there is no clearly identifyable cause.
How can I help a child pronounce words correctly?
- Don’t let anyone tease or mock (including friends or relatives).
- Present a good model. Use the misarticulated word correctly with emphasis. If the child says, “That’s a big wabbit,” you say “Yes, that is a big rabbit. A big white rabbit. Would you like to have a rabbit?”
- Don’t let anyone “translate” for the child, this will encourage them to pronounce more clearly.
A child with an articulation disorder needs speech therapy. Without treatment, a child may struggle with lifelong vocational, learning, emotional and social problems.
Symptoms of Articulation Disorder?
- Distortions – An attempt is made at the correct sound but it results in a poor production
- Omissions – Sounds in words and sentences may be completely omitted
- Additions – Extra sounds or syllables are added to the word
- Substitutions – An incorrect (usually easier) sound may be substituted for the correct one
Any child and adult have Misarticulation problem, he need a proper speech therapy and taught and how to correct use of speech organs for speaking the correct word.
Children may mispronounce sounds until the age of eight years. Parents can facilitate pronunciation of speech sounds by providing many opportunities for the child to hear and say the sound correctly. Since hearing affects sound acquisition, be sure to have your child’s hearing screened regularly.
- Use speech that is clear and easy for your child to follow.
- Repeat what your child says, using correct sounds. Never imitate incorrect speech.
- Avoid baby talk that uses sounds incorrectly.
- Make a picture book of interesting pictures containing a misarticulated sound. Have fun perusing the book and talking about the pictures. Be sure to say the words with the target sound frequently. Stress the sound ever so slightly, but keep your production natural.
- Sing songs and recite poems and nursery rhymes that contain the target sounds.
- Select four or five common household words containing the target sound and use them frequently during the day.
- Show your child how to make the sound, especially if it is a visible sound like l, s, ch, j, or th. Use this method sparingly to avoid frustration.
- Encourage talking. If the child is unintelligible, try to determine the meaning from context. Whenever possible, avoid asking the child to repeat what he or she has just said. This will reduce frustration.
- If your child has many Misarticulation, focus on one or two sounds for a few weeks at a time.