What causes unclear speech?
Additional reasons for speech difficulties include:
- Perception and discrimination of sounds.
- Articulation of certain sounds. Lisps such as on the sound “s” are a common articulation difficulty.
- Coordination of lip and tongue movements for speech.
- Structural problem such as a cleft palate.
- Hearing problems past or present will impact on speech development.
How to help
- Avoid correcting your child's speech or asking him or her to produce difficult sounds as this will increase frustration and may cause anxiety about trying to make sounds in therapy at a later point.
- Let your child speak in his or her own way and then echo back the phrases with the adult production.
- Try not to focus on how your child speaks but listen to what he or she is talking about.
- If you can't understand, you can ask him or her to show you, or try to move the subject onto something else.
- Read rhyming books poems and sing songs with your child which will help build up his awareness of sounds. Try leaving a gap at the end of the sentence for your child to fill in the rhyming word.
- Check your child's speech development on a chart produced by Caroline Bowen (speech and language therapist).
- Ask your GP or Health visitor for a referral to an audiologist to check your child's hearing.
- Ask the staff at the nursery or school if they have noticed any difficulties with your child’s speech.
- If you still have concerns discuss them with a speech and language therapist.
Contact me at Apple Tree Speech and Language therapy if you would like to discuss your child’s speech difficulties further or arrange an assessment.