What Is Articulation Therapy?

Articulation / n. 1a the act of speaking. articulate utterance; speech.

– The Canadian Oxford Dictionary

Anyone who has ever struggled to form a particular sound correctly knows just how important proper articulation can be. Children who have been teased for having a lisp for example, may lack self-esteem. Adults who produce distorted or unclear sounds may refrain from engaging in conversations with people they are not familiar with or comfortable with.

People of all ages can experience articulation disorders. Fortunately, improvement is possible at any stage of life. Articulation therapy is a form of intervention that focuses on the accurate production of speech sounds to improve speech clarity.

Speech-Language Pathologists are highly trained professionals who work to assess and help with a wide variety of speech and language difficulties, including problems with articulation.

Following an individual assessment, the clinician creates an intervention plan. Over time, they will work with the client to establish the correct production of the problematic sound, ensuring the articulators (e.g., tongue, lips, and jaw) are in the correct position to make the target sound(s). After mastering the sound in isolation, they work on developing the sound through a hierarchy of consonant-vowel combinations proceeding to words, phrases, sentences and eventually conversational speech. The sound is usually first addressed in the initial position of words, such as /s/ in “seal” or “sock.” The next step is to target the sound in the final position as in “bus,” or “rice,” and finally in the medial position of the word, as in “baseball” or “dancer.” However, this is dependent on the client and his or her stimulability (ability to make the sound) which position is the focus.

With focused intervention and consistent home practice most clients are able to achieve significant improvement.

No matter what the communication challenge may be, S.L. Hunter & Associates has an entire team of highly skilled and innovative Speech-Language Pathologists and Communicative Disorders Assistants who are prepared to help.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. They can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.