Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy at Liberty Speech Pathology Adelaide

Does your child have difficulty with the sounds of his or her speech? Does ‘singing a song’ become ‘thinging a thong’? Does “Carry the cat to the cushion” become “Tarry the tat to the tushion”? Or perhaps “Smell the pretty flowers” becomes “mell the pitty fowers”.

If so, your child may be having difficulty with his or her speech. (See our Speech Pathology Child Checklists to see which speech errors are still appropriate for your child’s age). This difficulty may be an articulation delay or disorder, or it may be a phonological delay or disorder.

If your child’s speech is delayed or disordered, people such as family, your friends, teachers or your child’s friends may have difficulty understanding what your child is saying. This can be incredibly frustrating for your child who is trying very hard to get their message across. Speech difficulties in children have also been associated with literacy difficulties in school.

How can Liberty Speech Pathology help?
If you are concerned about your child’s speech, Liberty Speech Pathology can provide your child with:

  1. An assessment (evaluation) to thoroughly explore the sounds that your child uses and the sounds he or she has difficulty with.
  2. A report to give you information and a summary of your child’s speech difficulties. This is often useful information for your child’s Child Care Centre, Kindy or School teacher to have.
  3. Friendly, game based therapy to help remediate your child’s speech difficulties
  4. Fun take-home activities for home or school practice.

Articulation Delay or Disorder

If your child has difficulty with his or her articulation, it means that he or she can not produce a particular sound correctly. For example, he or she might be placing her tongue in the wrong place for the sound.

An articulation delay means that the child is making articulation errors that are typical in normal development (eg ‘f’ for ‘th’), only at an age where this error should no longer be occurring.

An articulation disorder means that the child is making articulation errors that are not typical in normal development (eg a lisp).

See Speech Pathology Child Checklists to see which articulation errors are still appropriate for your child’s age.

Phonological Delay or Disorder

The majority of speech difficulties are phonological difficulties. This is where your child is making errors that follow a particular pattern. The error lies in your child’s understanding of the ‘rules’ of speech, rather than in the way that your child is physically making the sound.

For example, your child may have an error pattern of ‘cluster reduction’. This means that where two consonants are next to each other (eg ‘sm’ in ‘smell’, ‘pr’ in ‘pretty’, ‘fl’ in ‘flower’), your child reduces this to only one consonant (eg ‘mell’ for ‘smell’, ‘pitty’ for ‘pretty’, ‘fower’ for ‘flower). Cluster reduction is an example of a phonological error that is part of a child’s normal speech development. However, if a child is still using this pattern after age 4, then he or she has a phonological delay.

Another example of a phonological error patter is ‘Initial Consonant Deletion’. This means that the child does not pronounce the consonants at the beginning of words. For example, ‘feet’ becomes ‘eet’, ‘shop’ becomes ‘op’, ‘teddy’ becomes ‘eddy’. This is an example of an error that is not part of a child’s normal speech development and means that this child has a phonological disorder.

See Speech Pathology Child Checklists to see which phonological errors are not usual for your child’s age.