(702) 979-4268

Speech and Language Therapy

Articulation & Phonological Delays

What is Articulation?

Articulation disorder is the inability to correctly produce speech sounds (phonemes) because of imprecise placement, timing, pressure, speed, or flow of movement of the lips, tongue, or throat.

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. For example:

  • Frontal and lateral lisps
  • Weak articulation of /r/
  • Substituting /j/ (the “y” sound) for /l/
  • Difficulty with blends /r, l, s/ (i.e. brake, clown, slow)
  • Leaving sounds out of words (“nana” for “banana”)
  • The articulatory errors above are often typical of pre-schoolers and are usually not cause for concern. If they persist past age five, an evaluation is necessary.

What Is a Phonological Disorder?

A phonological process disorder refers to deficits with speech sound patterns within the context of conversational speech. With phonological processes, there are consistent error patterns in connected speech that may include: reductions, simplifications, vowel substitutions, and placement changes, which are made in the production of the target words. Typically, the more phonological processes a child uses in speech, the more unintelligible their conversational speech will be. While certain processes are expected for younger children as they are beginning to learn speech rules, older children are not expected to present with these error patterns.

What are some signs of an phonological disorder?

If you notice that your child is highly unintelligible when speaking and demonstrates consistent error patterns in their speech, they may be presenting with a phonological disorder. Children with speech production disorders may also become frustrated when communicating, as others have a difficult time comprehending them. Some of your child’s error patterns may consist of:

  • Deletion of consonants : “house” becomes “hou”
  • Simplifications: “spoon” becomes “pun”
  • Reductions: “umbrella” becomes “ella”
  • Fronting: “cat” become “tat”