Articulation/Speech Sound Disorders

An articulation disorder is based on your child’s difficulty in learning how to physically produce different speech sounds  –  such as using their tongue and teeth to make the sound ‘th’.

Young children often make speech errors such as using a ‘w’ sound for the ‘r’ sound (e.g., ‘wed’ for ‘red’) or they may leave sounds out of words altogether, such as ‘nana’ for ‘banana’.

Your child could have an articulation disorder if these errors continue past the expected age.

Developmental Delays including Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD & Intellectual Disability

Difficulties may include, but are not limited to:

Receptive Language

This refers to your child’s understanding of spoken language and includes the ability to follow spoken instructions, and understand a range of different spoken sentence and question forms. For example if you ask them to put away their toys, they just look at you blankly.

Expressive Language

This refers to language production and includes your child’s ability to use the correct words in spoken sentences This includes the ability to connect ideas together using conjunction words (‘so’, ‘and’, ‘because’), and responding appropriately to spoken commands. For example, your child struggles to ask for help when he or she needs it, or cannot independently tell a story with all the words/ideas in the right order.

Phonological Awareness/Literacy Skills

Phonological awareness is the understanding that words are made up of smaller units such as sounds and syllables. There is a strong link between phonological awareness and the development of spelling and reading. When there is a breakdown in phonological awareness, your child may:

  • confuse similar sounding words such as ‘see’, ‘tea’ & ‘teeth’
  • have problems recalling words – especially names
  • have difficulty remembering word sequences such as rhymes, songs and letters of the alphabet
  • be inaccurate in producing long, multi-syllabic words such as ‘cimanom’ for ‘cinnamon’; ‘bersketti’ for ‘spaghetti’; and  ‘hostibal’ for ‘hospital’.

Pragmatics/ Play Skills

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) generally enjoy playing, but they often find some types of play to be difficult or confusing. Children with ASD will commonly play with only a few toys, or play in a repetitive way. For example, your child might like spinning the wheels on a toy car and watching the wheels rotate instead of pretending to drive it, or might complete a puzzle in the same order every time.

Because ASD affects the development of social and communication skills, it can also affect the development of important skills needed for play, such as

  • the ability to copy simple actions
  • exploring the environment
  • sharing attention and objects with others
  • responding to others
  • turn taking

ESL/Second Language Acquisition  

Tutoring available upon request, including IELTS preparation, functional role plays, and accent reduction.

Swallowing/Mealtime Difficulties

Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) means it takes more time and effort to move food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach. Dysphagia may also be associated with pain, and in some cases, swallowing may be impossible.

Signs & symptoms associated with a swallowing disorder may include:

  • odynophagia – pain while swallowing
  • dysphagia – unable to swallow food, drink or saliva
  • the sensation of food getting stuck in your throat or chest or behind your breastbone (sternum)
  • drooling
  • vocal hoarseness – you sound like you’re losing your voice
  • regurgitation – bringing food back up
  • frequent heartburn – a burning sensation in your chest
  • weight loss – unexpected & unwanted
  • coughing or gagging when swallowing
  • eating soft food – such as soup or puddings, avoiding certain food or cutting food into smaller pieces because of difficulty swallowing

Voice Disorders

Voice disorders are medical conditions involving abnormal pitch, loudness or quality of the sound being produced by the larynx (voice box), consequently affecting the production of speech. Signs of a voice disorder may include:

  • vocal hoarseness
  • increased vocal effort
  • limited pitch range
  • limited volume range

Head to our Fact Sheets link for further information