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Speech Therapy for Speech Sound Disorder

We love to work with children who are having difficulties with their speech sounds. We use a wide range of therapy interventions to help children catch up to their peers and give them the confidence to communicate and learn.

Speech Sound Disorder: What can I do as a parent?

Here at Hope Therapies we put parents in the driving seat, making sure you feel empowered and supported to do the best for your child. 

 

Speech Sound Disorders are common but there’s a wide range in how they affect children. Here’s some advice on how to spot a speech sound disorder, but if you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Children's speech sound disorders and how to spot them

Children’s speech sound systems develop over a number of years and all children develop at slightly different rates. It is normal for your young child to not be understood all of the time but when should you become concerned? Below you will find a chart showing the age at which different speech sounds develop.

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It can be confusing when your child is having difficulty with an aspect of their speech. Sometimes a child can say the sound on its own but can’t use it in words and sentences. Sometimes they can’t seem to say the sound at all and replace it with another sound. Sometimes your child might be adamant that they are saying the word correctly even when they are not! All of this can be a difficult and emotionally challenging thing to process as a family. Our therapists know this and are there to support you with their expert help and years of experience.

Phonology vs. Articulation

There are different types of speech sound disorders and analysing a child’s speech can be quite complex. Most commonly there is either a difficulty with phonology or articulation. A phonological difficulty focuses on predictable rule-based errors - for example, a child may be consistently missing the final consonant from words. An articulation difficulty focuses on errors in the production of sounds - for example, a child who cannot make the sound ‘sh’.

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Children use lots of different phonological patterns in their speech during normal development. Here you can see a chart showing some of the patterns and when they tend to not be used anymore.

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So - what should you do if you think your child has a speech sound disorder?

Firstly, try not to panic. Check some of the developmental norms here on this page - chances are your child is developing their speech sounds as expected but perhaps a little behind their friends. If there are some errors in their speech try not to make a big deal of it or ask them to repeat words. The absolute best thing to do is to repeat the word back to them using the correct sounds - with no expectation of them saying it themselves.

Secondly, consider contacting us for a speech assessment. Once we have met you and your child for an assessment we will be able to let you know exactly what we think is happening and whether we would recommend therapy. If we feel therapy would be helpful we can suggest the number of sessions and the frequency.

Some of our therapists are also experienced in working with more complex or severe speech disorders such as Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia and nasality disorders.

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Book an appointment today.

Book a speech therapy assessment to begin your journey with Hope Therapies.

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