Speech Sound Development

Do you notice your child using a /w/ instead of /r/ in words (ie. “wain” for “rain”) or using a /d/ sound for a /g/ (ie. “do” for “go”)? Your child may be struggling with an articulation or phonological disorder. An articulation disorder occurs when a child has difficulty with the pronunciation of specific speech sounds and may produce substitutions or distortions of said sound. A phonological disorder occurs when there is a pattern to the errors a child is making (i.e., they are making all sounds that should be made at the back of the mouth at the front of the mouth instead).

The cause of speech sound production errors is mainly unknown in the absence of any other physical or cognitive impairment. Speech sound errors can also co-occur with conditions such as hearing impairments, cleft palate, cerebral palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, etc.

Children’s speech sound development typically follows an expected pattern. When children do not say sounds by the expected age, their ability to be understood in conversation can be negatively affected. If you are having difficulty understanding your child, an assessment may be warranted. Although some children may “outgrow” their speech sound errors, many will need direct speech therapy to learn how to correctly produce sounds.

During the assessment, our Speech-Language Pathologists will gather a thorough case history including details about your child’s language and sound development and take an informal sample of your child’s language. Depending on the age of your child, they may also perform an informal oral motor exam to assess functioning of the facial muscles and complete formal testing to determine whether your child’s speech sounds are meeting developmental milestones for their age.

Why Butterfly?

Our clinicians can teach your child the correct way to make speech sounds and will work through a hierarchy of targeting the sound in isolation then progressing to words, sentences and finally to conversation. Ideas for home practice will be provided as well. Treatment plans take into account the unique needs of your child as well as their interests in order for therapy to be fun and motivating. Staying current with new techniques is important to our therapists and they are always looking for new strategies and ideas to help with speech sound development. In addition, our therapists have taken continuing education courses on Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders in order to have a deeper understanding of the facial structure to provide evidence-based treatment.

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about our services call or email.