‘Speech’ in speech pathology refers to the sounds that children need to make in order to form words that make them intelligible or understood by a listener.
Speech sounds develop in stages. Please click here to see the developmental stages of speech sounds. There will always be individual variations of speech sound development between children.
When your child comes to our service because he or she has a speech difficulty, we work out if your child has:
- An articulation disorder which is when a child is unable to accurately make speech sounds in conversation.
- A phonological disorder or phonological process. This is when a child has difficulty organizing their speech sounds into a system of sound patterns (phonemic patterns) that form words. Sometimes children mix up their sounds in different word positions that make them sound unintelligible in conversation.
- A motor planning difficulty. This is called Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia or Childhood Apraxia of Speech where children have difficulty in making and co-ordinating the precise movements needed to produce clear speech.
Some speech difficulties like an interdental lisp are developmental. An experienced Speech Pathologist will know when it is appropriate to treat a lisp, how to treat one and methods to use for effective remediation.
Sometimes it is necessary to review your child at a later date to check speech development.