What are speech sound disorders? 

    Most children make some mistakes as they learn to say new words. A speech sound disorder occurs when mistakes continue past a certain age. Every sound has a different range of ages when the child should make the sound correctly. Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation (making sounds) and phonological processes (sound patterns). 

    What are some signs of an articulation disorder?

    An articulation disorder involves problems making sounds. Sounds can be substituted, left off, added or changed. These errors may make it hard for people to understand you. 

    Young children often make speech errors. For instance, many young children sound like they are making a "w" sound for an "r" sound (e.g., "wabbit" for "rabbit") or may leave sounds out of words, such as "nana" for "banana." The child may have an articulation disorder if these errors continue past the expected age.
    By state law, a child is considered to have an "articulation" disorder
    if they have one or more sound production error "beyond the age at which 90%
    of the population has achieved mastery" according to developmental norms.
    The error needs to be consistent throughout their conversational speech. 
    The following error norms are derived from the Goldman-Fristoe
    Test of Articulation- 2nd edition (2000). The sounds listed must be
    in error at the age listed in order for the child to be eligible:

    Age 3-5 (PS): p, m, n, w, h, b, g, k
    Age 4-6 (K): f, d, ng, y, t, kw
    Age 6-7 (1st): sh, ch, l, r, j, bl, dr, fl, fr, gl, gr, pl
    Age 7-8 (2nd): th (initial), v, s, voiced th, br, kl, kr, sl, sp, st, sw, tr
    Age 8-9 (3rd): th (final), z
    Not all sound substitutions and omissions are speech errors. Instead, they may be related to a feature of a dialect or accent. For example, speakers of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) may use a "d" sound for a "th" sound (e.g., "dis" for "this"). This is not a speech sound disorder, but rather one of the phonological features of AAVE.

    What are some signs of a phonological disorder?

    A phonological process disorder involves patterns of sound errors. For example, substituting all sounds made in the back of the mouth like "k" and "g" for those in the front of the mouth like "t" and "d" (e.g., saying "tup" for "cup" or "das" for "gas"). 

    Another rule of speech is that some words start with two consonants, such as broken or spoon. When children don't follow this rule and say only one of the sounds ("boken" for broken or "poon" for spoon), it is more difficult for the listener to understand the child. While it is common for young children learning speech to leave one of the sounds out of the word, it is not expected as a child gets older. If a child continues to demonstrate such cluster reduction, he or she may have a phonological process disorder.

    To see the ages at which phonological processes should disappear, go to Typical Speech Development: The Gradual Acquisition of the Speech Sound System.

    It is important to note that speech sounds are fully acquired at different
    ages of the child's life and that it can vary between boys and girls. The
    educational and social impact of the errors are also considered when
    determining eligibility.

    Please contact me with any questions regarding your child's articulation.

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