Articulation is the process of using speech muscles to produce the sounds that form our words. More specifically, we use our tongue, lips, teeth, jaw and palate to shape the air that passes through our vocal cords as we speak.
Speech sound disorders occur when an individual has difficulties producing sounds correctly. This may be due to substituting sounds (e.g., “wed” for “red” or “tar” for “car”); omitting sounds (e.g., “pay” for “play”); or adding sounds (e.g., “buhlack” for “black”).
Both children and adults can experience articulation difficulties. Children develop their ability to control the muscles used for speaking over a series of developmental stages. While many children may outgrow their articulation errors, some children will need speech therapy to help them overcome difficulties.
Adults with articulation difficulties often require speech therapy since the longer a person has dealt with a speech problem, the more resistant it may be to change. Speech therapy can help an individual learn new motor patterns and how to transfer their skills to everyday conversational speech.
For more information, please see: www.osla.on.ca/en/articulation
Speech Sound Development Chart (PDF)