Is my child's speech developing normally?
Children develop speech errors as part of their normal development of their speech.
However, a speech pathologist is able to determine what is happening with your child’s auditory development, speech production and speech motor skills by the type of errors that they are demonstrating at a particular age.
Identification and the early intervention of speech sounds errors that are delayed in their development or abnormal in their profile is essential to enable your child to reach the mental maturity to then be capable of learning to read, spell and write.
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Speech error patterns- Phonological processes
For instance, let’s take a brief look at one phonological process, the stopping process, to see how this can lead to further investigations and understandings about your child’s development. The stopping process involves a series of sound substitutions where a child may substitute a:
- /f/ sound for a /p/ sound
- /v/ sound for a /b/ sound
- /s/ sound for a /t/ sound
- /z/ sound for a /d/ sound
- /th/ sound for a /d/ sound
It is important that children have established their speech sound GRID as this enables their mind to then have matured the mental machinery to be capable of reading and spelling when they reach the classroom.
Children can show many different types of speech sound processes which we call phonological processes. Many of these are normal at specific ages in a child’s process to develop speech, however, many can be detected early to be abnormal. As Speech Pathologists, we can identify what may be happening with your child’s development based on the type of error in their speech.
Sometimes this may be:
|Challenges from hearing impairment or middle ear infections|
|Challenges from weakness in developing auditory processing skills|
|Challenges in developing the ability to construct speech-verbal dyspraxia or a phonological disorder|
|Restriction to the mobilisation of the tongue from a tongue tie (ankyloglossius)|
|Challenges with sensory-motor integration development|
|Early identification of challenges due to autistic spectrum disorder and associated conditions|
|Challenges from intellectual development|
Your child’s speech error profile can sometimes give us early diagnostic information as to WHAT may be happening to cause your child’s challenges. Early identification means we can provide EARLY INTERVENTION … enabling your child to reach their Optimal Communication potential.