Your child’s speech development is vital for their overall growth and success in school and beyond. If your child is struggling with articulation, our caring speech-language pathologists are here to help. Keep reading to find out what articulation is, why it is important, and how it can be improved with pediatric speech therapy.
What Is Articulation?
Articulation is the action of producing clear and understandable speech sounds. To make specific sounds, your child needs strong oral motor skills (the ability to coordinate the movements of their tongue, lips, jaw, and teeth as needed). If you’ve never had trouble pronouncing sounds yourself, you may not realize how much skill goes into it.
For example, to make the sh sound, you need to be able to lightly clench your jaws so your upper and lower teeth are touching, then pull the corners of your mouth inward to pucker your lips like when you give your child a kiss. At the same time, the sides of your tongue need to touch the sides of your top teeth, and the tip of your tongue should not be touching anything.
Common Articulation Challenges for Children
There are several common articulation challenges that children can face when learning all of their word sounds:
- Substitution – switching one sound for another, such as saying “twain” instead of “train.”
- Omission – leaving out specific sounds, such as saying “oo” instead of “shoe.”
- Addition – using extra sounds in a word, such as saying “puh-lease” instead of “please.”
- Distortion – pronouncing the sound but in a way that sounds atypical or unclear, usually due to struggles with oral motor skills.
How Articulation Challenges Can Impact a Child’s Growth
Children who struggle with speech can have difficulties with their social and cognitive development. If your child cannot confidently articulate their sounds, they may avoid talking to other children, participating in school, or sharing their ideas. Not only can this impact their academic success, but it can also lower their self-esteem and make it harder for them to make friends. That’s why early intervention to ensure your child can speak confidently is so important.
How Can Speech Therapy Improve My Child’s Articulation?
Our pediatric speech-language pathologists have specialized training in how to build a child’s oral motor skills. We use proven therapeutic exercises, techniques, and activities to help children master articulation. We can also give you tips and activities you can do at home with your child to help them continue working on their articulation skills between therapy sessions. With our one-on-one treatment and your support, we can work together to help your child speak with confidence.
Benefits of Pediatric Speech Therapy for Articulation
If your child is struggling with articulating their sounds, speech therapy can give them the tools they need for successful speech. This can lead to other incredible benefits such as:
- Better ability to communicate with peers
- Increased academic performance
- Stronger communication skills
- Fewer tantrums from being misunderstood
- Increased self-esteem
Schedule Your Child’s Evaluation
Pediatric Therapy Partners has clinics in Bossier and Shreveport, LA, to meet your family’s needs. All you have to do is call us at (318) 746-1199 or fill out the contact form below and our Intake Coordinator will help you schedule your child’s speech therapy evaluation.