At Speak To Me we specialise intreating children with Speech Sound Disorders (SSD). SSD is an umbrella term which encompasses any difficulties children may demonstrate to do with the perception of speech, motor production of speech, or phonological representation of speech sounds.
A speech sound disorder can be described as a communication disorder, where children have difficulty saying sounds / words correctly. It is normal for children to make mistakes as they learn how to say new words; this is part of the learning process. Speech sounds develop over time, with SLT's predicting which sounds children master at what age. Children can typically say all sounds correctly by 5 years. A child who has trouble saying sounds expected for their age, may be difficult for others to understand and may have a speech sound disorder. It is our job as SLT's to conduct age appropriate assessment and to provide differential diagnosis of speech sound disorders.
SSD can be both organic resulting from an underlying motor/neurological origin (childhood apraxia of speech and dysarthria), structural (tongue tie, cleft lip or palate), or a sensory/perceptual cause (hearing loss); or functional with no known cause (typically articulation disorders characterised by distortions or substitutions or phonological disorders characterised by predictable rule-based errors).