Learning to speak is a very important part of a child’s development. Whilst some children have no difficulties, many children require the expert diagnosis and treatment from a Speech Language Therapist.
Some children have difficulty producing individual speech sounds and this requires speech therapy treatment. Common ‘difficult’ signs include, but certainly not limited to: ‘s’ (lisp), ‘f’, ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘j’, ‘l’ and ‘th’.
All children use phonological processes in typical development as they are not able to co-ordinate and sequence the required movements required for speech. For example, typically developing children may say ‘tar’ when trying to say ‘car’ and ‘efent’ for ‘elephant’. From the age of 3 years and onwards these processes disappear and the child’s production of words gradually becomes more like the ‘adult’ version of the word.
For some children these processes do not disappear as expected for their age. Sometimes they have atypical processes in their speech. Speech therapy takes a highly systematic approach to correcting these errors.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have difficulty with the planning, sequencing and co-ordination of muscles movements required for speech. Regular, intensive treatment is most effective for treating CAS.
Stuttering is a disorder of fluency. Evidence strongly indicates that early intervention for stuttering is effective. If you are concerned about your child’s fluency of speech contact a Speech Language Therapist for as assessment.