Articulation & Phonological Disorders

Articulation Disorders


Articulation is the production of speech sounds. Speech sounds are created by movements of the articulators (lips, tongue and jaw) and the vocal cords.

Speech sounds are created by movements of the articulators (lips, tongue and jaw) and the vocal cords. An articulation disorder is the mispronunciation of speech sounds and may include sound omissions, substitutions, distortions and additions. Children should be able to produce all speech sounds correctly by age 8. However, if an articulation disorder is present and not addressed, it may persist into adulthood. Articulation disorders differ from phonologiacal disorders, but they can occur together.

Treatment for articulation disorders focuses on teaching the difference between correct and incorrect productions, correct placement of the articulators and practicing the sound in words, sentences and ultimately, spontaneous speech.


Phonological disorders

Phonology is the science of speech sounds and speech patterns.

It is a rule-based system. A phonological disorder occurs when a child has not learned the rules for combining sounds in words and creates their own. This affects classes of sounds rather than individual sounds.

   For example, a child may voice all voiceless consonants ( “p, t, k” are pronounced as “b, d, g”) or produce “back” sounds in the front of the mouth (“tup” for “cup”, “tat” for “cat”). Although use of these patterns  (called phonological processes) is considered appropriate in young children, most phonological processes should resolve by age 5.

   Phonological disorders often co-occur with articulation disorders. They may significantly impede speech intelligibility and can place children at risk for future reading and learning disabilities.

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Evgenia Stefanaki

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