Articulation Difficulties

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    Medical Service Name: Articulation Difficulties

    Articulation Difficulties are speech-related or phonological disorders where a child has issues making certain types of speech sounds. Articulation refers to a person’s physical capability to move their teeth, lips, tongue, and jaws to utter words and sentences that make up a sequence of speech sounds. Articulation helps make oral communication and conversations possible. Unclear speech can become frustrating for a child or an adult, leading to behavioural issues. 

    Possible Causes of articulation difficulties

    These are some of the cases where kids are at a higher risk of developing articulation difficulties.

    • Kids who have Down Syndrome or Autism
    • Kids having hearing loss
    • Kids, suffering from illnesses like ear infections frequently. 
    • Medical issues like cleft palate or lip.
    • Kids who have Cerebral Palsy.
    • Kids who suck their thumbs or use pacifiers too often.

    Risk Factors

    The risk factors of articulation difficulties include ongoing hearing problems, a reactive temperament, socializing with others, low self-confidence, and more.

    Signs & Symptoms of articulation difficulties 

    • Your child is of the school-going age but still is unable to say few sounds clearly.
    • Between the age of three and half years and four and protrudes their tongue between the teeth when pronouncing sounds like /s/, /th/, /f/ or /z/
    • The speech of your child is unclear compared to other kids of their age.
    • Your child prefers to use only vowel sounds.
    • Your child is uncomfortable and seems frustrated when speaking with others.
    • The speech of your child is difficult to interpret even by you and his siblings.
    • Your child is facing issues linking one or more sounds.
    • The kid has messy eating and dribbling habits.

    Diagnosis

    A speech and language therapist can diagnose the problem by listening to your child speak and observing them. He can also evaluate the child’s speech and language skills. It is important to know that the child does not just hear the words but also understands them correctly.

    Below checkup can be done at our medical center.

    • Our experts will test the hearing capability of the child. 
    • Once hearing loss is ruled out, the speech-language pathologist understands the speech-language communication capabilities of the child.
    • The speech-language pathologist will listen and watch the child speak to determine if they have articulation difficulties. 
    • A physical examination is also carried out of the mouth of the child.

    Treatment Options at 7DMC

    Our speech and healthcare specialists at the Department of Speech and Language Therapy put their best foot forward to help kids with articulation difficulties develop a personalized, optimized treatment plan. Our specialists ensure empathetic handling of the kid, giving them dedicated one-to-one patient care. 

    Kids having articulation difficulties face various problems like:

    • The child cannot engage in verbal and non-verbal interactions with others around
    • The child could have self-confidence-related severe issues.
    • The child cannot be independent, and he needs his parents or siblings around to translate on their behalf.
    • Improper articulation impacts the academic and literary skills – the reading and spelling skills – of the child.
    • The child is likely to be overtly frustrated because others cannot understand or follow him.

    If the problem remains unresolved, it could lead to numerous long-term issues in the future. The child may be incapable of:

    • Completing his higher education.
    • Developing friendships with peers.
    • Relationship issues. 

    Our expert speech therapists curate personalized therapy plans for each child. They work very closely with kids to differentiate the sounds they pronounce wrong and fix the same. They help the child in learning the correct pronunciation of sounds and practice specific words and sounds. 

    FAQs

    Frequently asked questions

    The most common articulation problems in children are the “s,” “l,” and “r” sounds. Other sounds can be involved depending on the child’s understanding.

    Individual therapy sessions with the expert and practice at home is required to correct this.

    There are several factors involved in articulation problems. Most common are problems with teeth, cleft palate, hearing loss, and restricted mouth movement.

    Many children can develop the ability to correctly pronounce words with time. If correct speech sounds don’t come, it is advisable to consult a medical professional to treat it.