What is an Articulation Disorder:
As children mature and gain greater control over their fine motor movements required to produce speech sounds, their correct articulation of sounds typically improves. However, when a child is unable to correctly articulate specific sounds and words at an age when most of his/her peers are able to articulate those sounds, intervention is often required. Articulation errors can be caused by structural differences or the way structures involved in speech production (e.g., jaw, tongue, lips) are used. Articulation disorders sometimes occur in adulthood either due to untreated childhood disorders or as a result of an acquired condition (e.g., stroke, accident, cancer of the mouth, etc.).
Assessment and Treatment:
Articulation skills are assessed using standardized tests and/or informal testing and observation. Treatment of articulation skills starts with determining specific therapy goals and intervention approaches based on patient needs. Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic speech-language pathologists use age-appropriate and functional activities to encourage patient participation and allow for natural opportunities to produce target sounds. The incorporation of home practice is imperative for optimal progress and to aid in the patient’s ability to use new skills outside of the clinic environment.
Links for more information:
American Speech and Hearing Association: www.asha.org