What is articulation: Articulation is the formation of clear and distinct sounds in speech.

Why do kids struggle: The majority of speech sound disorders are caused by unknown factors, however there are some known origins including:
– Genetic causes
– Craniofacial anomalies
– Cognitive/intellectual impairment
– Hearing loss
– Motor impairment
– Autism Spectrum Disorder

Co-occurrence of Speech Sound Disorders: Often speech sound disorders happen simultaneously with other communication impairments. Some of these may be:
– Difficulty understanding or expressing wants and needs
– Literacy difficulties
– Impairments in eating, drinking or with mouth movements
– Stuttering

Phonological processes: Phonological processes are patterns of speech sound errors that children use to simplify speech. It is expected that some speech sound errors are present in typically developing children, with the expectation they resolve after reaching a specified age. Some typical phonological processes are:

Process Description Example When Should This be Resolved?
Fronting The substitution of a sound produced in the back of the mouth, with one in the front Key = “tey”
Goat = “doat”
By 3 years
Stopping The substitution of continuing sounds, with a short one Soap = “doap”
Love = “lub”
By 3 years
Gliding The substitution of a sound continuing sound with a frictionless one Pram = “pwam”
Like = “yike” By 5 years
Cluster reduction Cluster reduction is the deletion of one of more consonants in a cluster Spider = “bider”
First = “firt” By 3 years
Final consonant deletion Removing the last consonant from the word Dog = “doh”
Hat = “hah” By 3 years

Some phonological processes are not typical in speech development and require further attention, some of these include:
Process Description Example
Initial consonant deletion Removing the first consonant sound in a word Cup = “up”
Sun = “un”
Backing The substitution of a sound produced further forward in the mouth, with one in the back Dot = “got”
Tap = “cap”