Speech Delays and Disorders

Speech delays and disorders include conditions affecting the ability to produce individual sounds of language.

Articulation Disorders

Involve difficulties in producing the sounds of words. Sounds may be substituted, left off, added or changed. Some common sound substitutions include saying, “wabbit” for “rabbit” or “sink” for “think”.

Phonological Disorders

Involve difficulties in learning the sound system of language resulting in patterns of sound errors. An example would include substituting all sounds made in the front of the mouth (like “t” or “d”) for those in the back of the mouth (like “k” or “g”), resulting in a fronting pattern, where “okay” sounds like “otay” or “go” sounds like “do”.

Motor Speech Disorders

Include disorders that interfere with the ability to speak clearly or intelligibly. For example:

  • Dysarthria typically results when there is neuromuscular impairment of the speech mechanism (jaw, tongue, lips, palate and larynx [or voice box[).
  • Dyspraxia/apraxia involves difficulties with motor planning of speech and sequencing speech sounds.