Articulation Disorders

Overview of Articulation Disorders

Articular disorders are defined as abnormal or incorrect production of sounds in children. Articulation disorder is the decreased ability of a child to speak properly without difficulty. “S”, “L” and “R” are among the common articulation errors. 

This mainly occurs when the child is unable to timely direct or discriminate the direction, placement, and speed of the lips, tongue, and [ujaws. Children suffering from this disorder are not able to manage their airflow. These conditions make them unable to speak properly and fluently.  

Signs and Symptoms of Articulation Disorders

Some of the common signs and symptoms of articulation disorders are as follows:

  • Omissions or Deletions

The child tends to omit some sounds while they are speaking such as

“cu” for “cup”.

  • Substitutions

Words are substituted and the original meaning of the word is lost

Such as “wabbit” for “rabbit”.

  • Additions

One or more than one sound is added to the words.

  • Distortions

A significant change in the phonic status. For example, ‘s’ at the lateral edge of the water.

These signs and symptoms may appear as error patterns or as common rule-based patterns. An example of such an occurrence is that the child may substitute or add the common sound with a favorite sound.

Types of Articulation Disorders

Causes of Articulation Disorders

The causes of articulation disorders are as follows:


Risk Factors of Articulation Disorders

The risk factors of articulation disorders are the following:

  • Males are more prone to suffer from these speech or sound disorders. 
  • Children that are born prematurely are at a greater risk of this disease 
  • Having low weight at birth can make a child more susceptible to these disorders
  • Ear, nose, and throat issues at an early age 

Articulation Disorders Complications

These disorders can make a person anxious. The situation can worsen if the disorder is neither diagnosed nor treated. Anxiety can make a person socially uncomfortable and awkward. This condition can also increase the chance that the person may start to feel inferior and this might be the onset of depression. Other psychological issues can also arise due to this disease.



The preventive measures for articulation disorders are not concrete. But following the given below instructions can surely help the patients:

  • Talk more with your child 
  • Read with your child 
  • Avoid the use of drugs during pregnancy
  • Wear safety belts if you are traveling during pregnancy 
  • Make sure that your child is following safety protocols during traveling
  • Have your child’s hearing tested on a regular basis
  • Do not smoke 
  • Keep the blood pressure levels in check


The doctor will test the person if they are showing the aforementioned symptoms. To make sure that the diagnosis is smooth the doctors recommend a thorough physical check-up. This way they are able to rule out any other associated conditions. 

Starting with the family history and the person’s medical chart, the doctor may also evaluate the facial movements. 

Other diagnostic methods are:

  • Denver Articulation Screening Examination

To check out the person’s pronunciation and to assess the clarity of the speech this test is used. 

  • Dynamic Evaluation of Motor Speech Skills Manual (DEMSS)

This is a complete and comprehensive examination that doctors follow to evaluate speech disorders in their patients. 

  • Prosody-Voice Screening Profile 


To evaluate pitch, phrasing, and speech patterns, doctors may recommend this test. 


Treatment of Articulation Disorders | When to Consult a Doctor

Articulation disorders mainly deal with the motor production of speech sounds. In most cases, phonological errors which deal with linguistic difficulties and articulation errors appear in a combination. A single child can show both these errors. The treatment methods which focus on motor efficiency of speech are known as articulation approaches. 

  • Articulation Approaches

The main aim of these treatment methods is to analyze the aspect to which the child has degenerative motor abilities. These methods also seek the right strategies to make sure that the child is able to speak clearly and fluently. 

If the child is suffering both from linguistic and motor abilities which are interfering with the speaking ability, then both articulation and phonological approaches can be used in therapy. 

  • Speech Therapy 

It is one of the most common assessment methods for articulation disorders. When the child is suffering from speech issues at a young age or an adult is unable to speak properly due to an injury this is the method that is used at that stage. The doctor interacts with the child and engages them in activities that allow them to speak properly. This is the most effective method for articulation disorder treatment. 

  • Treatment Strategies 

In addition to the above-mentioned methods, several other strategies can also be used to make sure that the child is able to speak properly. On the basis of the child’s behavior and needs, the speech therapist may devise a specific treatment for the child. 

Some of the targeted treatments that are used commonly are:

  1. Vertical Treatment Plan

This is an intense practice in which one or two speech targets are set to be met. This helps to bring the child to a point where he or she can rightfully start to speak. 

  1. Horizontal Treatment Plan 

The level of intensity is less than the previous one. More than one speech practice is conducted. This way the child is able to learn a rich combination of vocabulary. 

  1. Cyclical Treatment Plan

This one utilizes the aspects of both vertical and horizontal. The child first masters the initial targets and then he or she moves on to the next one.

  • Contrast Therapy 

This method involves words that come in pairs. One word is easy and the other one is rather difficult. This helps the child and improves their speech ability.

  • Oral Motor Therapy

This therapy is to improve muscle strength, motor control, and breath control. These exercises increase people’s efficacy and help them to sound more confident.

  • Medications 

Articulation disorders can lead to the onset of anxiety disorders in people. Being unable to speak properly in front of a gathering can make people vulnerable. That is why they might need medications to deal with anxiety and nervousness. Speech therapists may prescribe drugs to their patients in these regards. 

Note:  (Consult your doctor before taking any medications)

If you have any further queries or concerns, you can easily reach out to the best speech therapists near you anywhere in Pakistan via Healthwire.