Misarticulation Speech Therapy

Misarticulation Speech Therapy


Misarticulation Speech Therapy

Misarticulation is a disorder or a habit of mispronouncing certain words. You may produce sounds, syllables, or words incorrectly so that the listeners cannot understand your speech. This disrupts the effective communication flow, one of the most important aspects of our lives. Articulation is a process wherein the organs like the tongue, lips, and palate interact when air comes from the vocal cords to produce sounds in a correct manner. When this is not perfect, the sound is produced with improper placement, pressure, coordination, and timing. The combination of techniques and processes used to correct this misarticulation is called misarticulation speech therapy.

Let us know more about misarticulation, its causes, the signs and symptoms, and how it can be treated through misarticulation therapy. This knowledge will help you know about the occurrence of this disorder at an early stage to be treated well in time.

Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye:

  1. What is Misarticulation Speech Therapy?
  2. What Causes an Articulation Problem?
  3. Early Signs and Symptoms of Articulation Problem
  4. How Does Misarticulation Speech Therapy Help?
  5. FAQs
  6. Take away

1. What is Misarticulation speech therapy?

Misarticulation speech therapy focuses on proper pronunciation and speech, supporting and improving words and sound formation. Through different techniques, it involves practicing the coordination in moving various articulators like lips, jaw, tongue, cheeks, and palate, thus enhancing your ability to speak correctly. Misarticulation treatment comprises various treatment modalities to improve sounds, words and sentences produced so that others can well interpret them. It includes several tools and techniques like:

  • Exercises: Various targeted exercises help in improving proper muscle coordination.
  • Auditory discrimination tasks: Here, the target sound is discriminated from the error sound.
  • Visual modeling: uses a mirror to let individuals see themselves and practice making correct sounds.
  • Oral motor practice: Uses cotton balls to practice sounds like p/b and t/d.
  • Airflow control: This involves straws to demonstrate how to make perfect airflow to prevent lisping.

Other simple home misarticulation treatment methods include:

  • Using simple and clear speech.
  • Repeating the words said by your kids with the correct word sounds.
  • Discouraging baby talks.
  • Reading and discussing a photo book of misarticulated words in a fun way.
  • Singing songs containing the objective sounds.

These will help to minimize errors and thus improve the misarticulation speech.

2. What Causes an Articulation Problem?

Articulation issues can be due to some disorders related to the organs responsible for speech or maybe without any cause. Some of the reasons can be:

  • Brain injury: Traumatic injury to the brain may cause speech issues and articulation problems.
  • Developmental disabilities: May affect articulation due to brain impairment.
  • Hearing loss: It has a direct impact on articulation because you can only speak what you hear, if you can’t hear correctly, you won’t be able to speak or pronounce correctly.
  • Physical and structural disabilities: Like cleft lip or cleft palate tongue-tie, etc., result in disturbed interactions between various organs related to speech. Hence there may be improper articulation.
  • Disorders affecting nerves involved in speech: Nervous disorders may disrupt a speech by disturbing the brain- organs mechanism.
  • Muscle weakness: This may result in insufficient movement of the organs responsible for speech resulting in misarticulation.
  • Improper attention to the speech development of children at a young age: Not correcting baby talks at a young age may develop a habit of children talking in the same way. Hence, misarticulation becomes a habit, even if there is no disorder or disability.

3. Early Signs and Symptoms of Articulation Problem.

Being aware of some of the early signs and symptoms of misarticulation will help in early detection. A few misarticulation examples are:

  • Producing a front lisp: This causes mispronunciation of sibilants like s and z sounds.
  • Sound substitution: This means one sound is substituted with the other like: ‘Rabbit’ with ‘Wabbit.’
  • Additions: An extra sound will be added to a word like ‘b’e’lack’ for’ black’.
  • Omissions: This involves the removal of a sound in a word like ‘teater’ for ‘teacher’.
  • Alterations/ distortions: The child or an adult makes an incorrect sound that does not sound like any correct word in the language. like ‘kerrac’ for ‘correct’.
  • Finds difficulty in combining two or more words.
  • The voice lacks clarity, so the listeners find them difficult to understand.
  • Uses mostly vowel sounds which are easier to produce.

When children use misarticulation speech, they may show frustration due to continuous difficulty in explaining their point and feel depressed and low in self-esteem due to bullying, teasing, and exclusion. Therefore, early detection and timely treatment are very important to avoid long-term psychological effects due to misarticulation.


4. How Does Misarticulation Speech Therapy Help?

Before the therapy, a proper diagnosis is made to find out the root cause of the issue through detailed assessment and various tests to know how the articulation is being affected and their pattern of variations. The percentage of severity is also calculated. Accordingly, a therapeutic plan is prepared, which is different for every individual, and then the therapy begins.

  • It helps improve their ability to produce clear speech, understand other sounds and deal with speech problems and challenges.
  • The trained pathologists and audiologists target sound by utilizing a proper articulation approach, enhancing understanding of words and sounds, and improving attention and focus, to minimize errors and maximize the quality of speech.
  • The therapists also counsel adults and caregivers to maximize the therapeutic strategies to enable the ease of conversation with others further.
  • This helps to improve the misarticulation issue through continuous practice, thus enhancing the pronunciation and speech ability.

Take away

Visit Tarang Speech and Hearing Clinic for complete diagnostic and treatment solutions for speech and hearing issues. Homed by the best speech therapists in Delhi and equipped with the latest state-of-art diagnostic and therapeutic speech, language, and hearing facilities, Tarang clinic is one of the best speech therapy centres in Delhi.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When should I consult a doctor for my kid’s misarticulation issue?

When you notice any signs and symptoms of misarticulation, it is always advisable to consult a speech therapist so that they can assess and guide you accordingly.

2. Is misarticulation hereditary?

Although the exact origin of misarticulation is unknown, it has a strong genetic impact. But if detected at an early stage, it can be completely treated.

3. What is the difference between baby talk and misarticulation?

Baby talks are sound errors by children because of their inability to properly coordinate their articulators, which may occur for initial 7 years. In comparison, misarticulation has sound errors until later in a life, characterized by addition, omissions, distortion, etc., which deteriorates the quality and clarity of speech.