Articulation Disorders

Definition: the production of speech sounds to form words.
An articulation disorder results in difficulty producing specific sounds, such as:

  • Substituting one sound for another (wabbit for rabbit)
  • Omitting sounds (winnow for window)
  • Distorting sounds (“s” comes out side of mouth)
  • Difficulty with muscle movement for speech production (weakness)
  • Difficulty with motor planning of muscle movements (groping)

When to see a speech pathologist

  • Parent cannot understand at least 75 percent of what a 3-year-old says
  • Child is frustrated when others do not understand
  • Child does not use early sounds or has not achieved speech/language milestones.

Development of individual speech sounds

Age Sounds
3 m, n, ing, h, w, j, g, p, t, k, b, d, g, tw, kw
3-1/2 v, s, z, sh, r, ch, l, sp, st, sk, sm, sn, sw, skw, pl, bl, gl, fl, br, tr, dr, kr, fr
4-1/2 th, as in the and thin

See Speech Milestones for more information.

Ways to help prevent speech disorders

  • Participate in screening programs offered at clinics or schools.
  • Have your child’s hearing evaulated by an audiologist.
  • Talk and play with your child regularly.
  • Take care of your child’s dental and oral health.
  • Read with your child daily.
  • Seek immediate pediatric care for ear infections.