February 1, 2024

Articulation Disorder

Articulation disorder refers to errors in speech sound production including deletion of sounds, substitution of sounds, adding sounds, or distorting sounds.


An articulation disorder refers to errors in speech sound production including deletion of sounds, substitution of sounds, adding sounds, or distorting sounds. It is appropriate for children at certain ages to produce sounds in error; however, if a child is producing an error with a sound that they should have acquired, they may have an articulation disorder. Articulation disorders may negatively impact a child’s speech intelligibility when communicating with peers and adults. There is a range of typical speech-sound development, though most children are 90% intelligible to a wider range of communication partners by age 4.


An articulation disorder may be attributed to a medical diagnosis or illness (i.e. including neurological disorders, genetic syndromes, and developmental disorders), the development and structure of the oral mechanism (i.e., cleft lip or palate), hypotonia, oral motor skills and development, difficulty with placement of articulators, exposure to adult language models, and/or hearing loss.


Children that are unintelligible to others at age 3 or older may be demonstrating an articulation disorder. Additionally, if they are unable to say sounds that the majority of their peers have mastered, they may be showing signs of an articulation disorder. If you are unsure of what age your child should be making certain sounds, contact a speech-language pathologist for more information.


If your child has an articulation disorder, intervention and therapy by a speech-language pathologist is generally recommended. The therapist will assist your child to produce correct articulator (tongue, lips, teeth) placement and voicing to generate the sound. Practice and repetition outside of therapy sessions is imperative to achieve progress and maintenance of improved speech sound production.

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We know that choosing a local ABA facility can be a hard decision. We’ve created an informational guide to help you understand more about the questions you should be asking while meeting with different providers.

Although we talk about our services here, our highest goal is for you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about picking a provider that is the best fit for your needs. You are making a decision that will impact the entire trajectory of your child’s life!
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The cover of the NSPT Guide for Families, which helps families to figure out the questions to ask when picking an ABA provider.


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