Articulation | Speech Language Treatment Services

Articulation

Normal articulation is a series of complex actions. Accurate articulation requires exact placement, sequencing, timing, direction and force of the articulators. These occur simultaneously with precise airstream alteration, initiation or halting of phonation and velopharyngeal action. These are pretty fancy words to say that when a child or an adult can speak with good accuracy it takes a lot of things to work right for that to be accomplished!

Articulation problems can result from organic (a known physical cause) or functional (no known physical cause) etiologies. The assessment of articulation is complex and requires a great deal of skill and knowledge on the therapists' part. The primary purposes of an assessment of articulation and phonological processes include:

  • describing the articulatory or phonological development and status of the individual
  • determining whether the individual's speech deviates from normal expectations to warrant concern or intervention
  • identifying factors that relate to the presence or maintenance of the speech disorder
  • determining the "stimulability" of each errored phoneme: can the individual make the sound in isolation or "by itself"
  • determining if the individual can make the errored phoneme in any position of any words
  • analyzing the types of errors (substitutions, distortions, additions) and form of errors (distinctive features, phonological processes)
  • rating the overall intelligibility of the individual's speech
  • completing an oral peripheral examination to assess oral motor strength and accuracy related to articulation

At Sally Bober & Associates believe that children can correct many disordered sounds if they are stimulable at a young age. For example, an individual that comes to our clinic and is unable to make 4 and 5 year old sounds in conversational speech and is only 3 years old. If those sounds are stimulable, and by that, meaning the child can produce the sound by itself or in some words, the prognosis for being able to correct that particular sound is good. We are concerned about the self esteem of the child and like to get the sounds corrected as early as possible to foster good communication/social skills.

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