Articulation Delays/Disorders in Adolescents

Articulation is the way we produce speech sounds. Many adolescents make speech errors, so it is important to consider the age range during which adolescents develop each sound when determining if sound substitutions are age-appropriate. An Articulation Disorder involves difficulties producing sounds. Sounds may be substituted, omitted, added or deleted in an articulation disorder. For example, an adolescent who says “tup” for “cup” is substituting the sound “t” for the sound “k.” An articulation disorder can make it difficult for an adolescent to be understood by others and can impact social interactions, school participation and academics (i.e. reading, writing, phonological awareness skills). The adolescent’s speech could be unclear, slushy or sound mumbled.  The adolescent may have an articulation disorder if these sound errors continue past the expected age of mastery.

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