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Speech Sound Disorder-  Articulation

Articulation of speech sounds refers to how a child produces a specific sound. This involves moving the articulators (lips, jaw, tongue and soft palate) in the correct way with accurate placement and voicing. Sounds typically develop in a gradual progression. Early developing sounds including [m, b, p, d, n, h, w, "y"] are usually acquired by age 3. Most children can make all of the sounds in English accurately by 7-8 years old. If a child has not acquired the correct production of a sound when (s)he is expected to, the speech-language pathologist may recommend a treatment program. 

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder with which the child has difficulty planning the complex movements needed to produce sounds and transition smoothly between sounds in syllables, words, phrases or sentences. Children with CAS typically have more trouble as the syllables, words or sentences get longer. This type of speech disorder is often characterized by pauses between syllables, distortions of vowel sounds as well as consonants, unusual prosody (melody of speech) and sometimes "groping" movements when attempting verbal speech. Children with CAS are often extremely difficult to understand. The diagnosis of Childhood Apraxia of Speech can only be made by a Speech-Language Pathologist following a thorough motor speech evaluation.

Phonological Pattern Disorder

Phonological pattern disorder is characterized by patterns of speech errors, not necessarily specific to one sound. Examples of this include omitting final consonants (saying "pa" for "pop"), or substituting consonants made in the back of the mouth (k or g) with ones made in the front of the mouth (t or d). A speech-language pathologist will assess your child's speech to determine an appropriate plan of treatment. 

Phonological Awareness 

Phonological awareness is the ability to think about and manipulate the sounds in a word. This includes counting syllables, rhyming, identifying the first sound in a word and blending sounds together to make a word. This awareness usually begins in preschool and aids in learning to read and spell. 

Expressive Language 

Expressive language is the language that your child uses to communicate. This could be gestural, spoken or using a communication device. Expressive language includes such things as the ability to label objects and actions, gesture/ point, form phrases or sentences and use correct grammar. 

Receptive Language 

Receptive language refers to how your child understands language, both verbal and non-verbal. This may include understanding gestures such as pointing, concepts such as colors/shapes/ spatial words (on, under), following directions, identifying objects or actions and understanding questions. 

Stuttering/ Disfluency

Stuttering or disfluency refers to a disruption in the flow of your child's speech. This may involve repetitions (my my my mom/ m-m-my mom), prolongations (mmmmy mom) or blocks where your child looks like they are trying to say something, but no sound comes out. Stuttering may involve unusual facial or body movements as your child tries to speak. 

Word Retrieval Disorder

Word retrieval refers to the ability to efficiently "find" a known word that you want to say. A child may use a lot of vague words ("that thing"), mime/ act out words, use fillers ("uh") to buy extra thinking time or give clues about the word (s)he is trying to think of. Difficulty thinking of the word you want to say happens to everyone occasionally. It should be evaluated when it happens regularly and affects how a child communicates or carries on conversations. 

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