What It Is and What to Expect

Articulation is the act of producing speech sounds when talking to other people. When we refer to articulation, we are talking about how clearly words, phrases, or sentences are said.

Articulation requires a number of very carefully coordinated motor actions. First, we need to vocalize, which means we have to move air through the larynx (or “voice box”) in a way that creates sound. Then, we have to shape that vocalization into vowels or consonant sounds. We do this by moving our cheeks, lips, tongue, and soft palate to move the air around in our mouth so precisely that it forms the speech sounds in the words and sentences we have chosen to utter out loud.

Most of us do this quickly, effortlessly, and nearly unconsciously. Some children, though, have a hard time producing speech sounds accurately–their words are not clear and people have a hard time understanding what they are saying. These children are having difficulty with articulation or phonology.

Candidates for Speech & Language Intervention

Children who are in need of speech and language intervention services may have difficulty with one, some, or all of these areas.

Contact our office if you suspect your child may be having communication difficulties.

Can't Express Basic Needs

A child who can’t express her basic needs to others—she might cry and tantrum, but is not able to use words or even gestures to show her parents what she wants—is having difficulty with basic communication.

Lack of Word Understanding

A little one who does not fully understand the words we say has difficulty with receptive language. For example, a child with a receptive language delay might not be able to follow simple directions, respond to her name, or find pictures in a book.

No Expressive Language

A toddler who understands everything you say and is really good at communicating through gestures and eye contact, but who doesn’t yet use any actual words, is having difficulty with expressive language.

Unintelligible Speech

A child who is talking a blue streak? A child who is using lots of words and sentences, but whose speech is not understood by others, is having difficulty with speech, or articulation.

Fluency Issues

A child who has lots of words, but who is struggling to speak without repeating words and syllables multiple times, is having difficulty with fluency.

Hoarse or Raspy Voice

A child who uses sentences, understands language well, and produces speech sounds well, but who has a habitually hoarse voice, might have a voice disorder.