There are several causes of Articulation in children like weak muscles, less control over tongue or respiratory system or mere speech immaturity. But in some cases, specifically in adults, articulation happens due to a related cause or condition. Other causes of articulation include; hearing loss, brain injury, learning disabilities (dyslexia), intellectual disability etc. It is obviously not a cake walk to achieve fluency and effective communication, it requires an immense amount of patience as well dedication. And the result of all of these together is fruitful. The beginning of articulation can be identified when the child starts mispronouncing sounds while speaking a particular work.
The articulation disorder has motor production basis, which leads to trouble with certain phonemes, called misarticulation. The most occurring misarticulations related to sound are omissions, substitutions, additions, and distortions. The therapy of getting rid of these misarticulation involves practicing upon planning a coordination between articulators like lips, jaw, tongue, cheeks, and palate. Regular practice is the most trusted way of treatment for this disorder and assures clear speech. The other name for clear speech is known as intelligibility. Children who have misarticulation disorder may pronounce:
- Teacher as teater
- Rabbit as wabbit
- Dog as dod
Why should Misarticulation be taken seriously?
Recognizing this disorder at the right time is also important to keep your child away from constant bullying, teasing, labeling, frustration, and exclusion. Bad experiences like these further cause trouble and the child start losing his/her self-confidence. He/she starts putting the blame on themselves and suffer severe morale breakdown like feeling incompetent, stupid, socially awkward etc. It not just ends there, all of this will eventually affect the child’s academic behavior and performance and may even lead to disruptive behavior.
How is misarticulation diagnosed?
● The speech therapist or the speech-language therapist will conduct an articulation test containing a list of pictures or words which are designed by means of scientific principles and methods to test all speech sounds.
● Diagnosis of the problem
● The above test will be followed by an audio/video recording at the same time.
● Analysis of both the tests will be done
Treatments are available for misarticulation
The speech therapist or the speech-language pathologist after proper diagnosing explains the place and manner of articulation that affects the sounds. They further work on auditory processes of those specific sounds. Like, show your child how to make the sound, especially if it is a visible sound like l, s, ch, j, and the. Parent support and affection are also highly recommended during the treatment process. Don’t ask the child to repeat what he or she said even if they said it wrong. This helps in keeping their morale intact. Remember, treatment is most effective if diagnosed early.