Cleveland speech therapists

Articulation Disorders: An Explainer by Cleveland Speech Therapists

Among the many reasons children are referred to our Cleveland speech therapists are articulation disorders. A child with an articulation disorder has trouble forming speech sounds properly. This is slightly different from phonological disorders, in which a child can produce the correct sounds, but puts them in the wrong place or order.

Both of these are forms of expressive language issues. That is, they pertain to how well a child can communicate with others. This differs from receptive language disorders, wherein a child has trouble understanding what is being communicated with them. Some children struggle with both.

Keep in mind that it’s completely normal for young kids to make speech errors as their language is developing. However, kids with articulation disorders will be tough to understand, even when other kids their age are mostly speaking clearly.

Akron speech therapists

Identifying Speech Delays in Twins, Triplets and Other Multiples

Numerous studies have established that twins, triplets and other sets of multiples have a higher likelihood of speech delays. (It’s also more common in identical twins and multiples than in fraternal.)

Speech and language delays are characterized as a child having speech or language skills that are below their age and gender expectations. Typically, this means they have shorter utterance lengths, fewer words and less overall attempts to talk/communicate. On the whole, language development among twins has been found to be about 1.7 months behind single babies at 20-months-old and 3.1 months behind at 3 years of age. There’s even a name for this phenomenon: The “twinning effect.”

No one knows exactly why it happens, but our Akron speech therapists know numerous theories have been floated and studied, including:

  • Prematurity/birth complications. Both of these can increase the risk of speech delays.
  • Divided caregiver attention. Parents are less able to give attention to each child because it’s divided by two babies/toddlers at once (leading to the children hearing less words, having one-on-one interaction, fewer stories, etc.).
  • Genetics. Higher likelihood of inherited causes of speech delays.
  • “Twin talk.” These are invented words, gestures, simple syntax that twins and multiples use to talk to each other. Sometimes, they are SO effective at communicating with each other without words that their language and speech development may be delayed.
  • Personality differences. If one twin is more outgoing and the other more shy, the shy twin may develop speech and language skills at a slower rate.
  • One twin/multiple is the “spokesperson.” We see this a lot too with children who have older siblings who “speak” for them. But this can be detrimental to the speech and language development of the other/younger children because they aren’t motivated to verbalize their own needs or feelings.
Cleveland speech therapy

How Long Will My Child Need Speech Therapy?

Often when speech and language therapy is recommended for a child, one of the first questions parents have is, “For how long will my child need speech therapy?”

As much as our Cleveland speech-language pathologists (SLPs) would love to give parents an answer, the reality is there are numerous factors to consider before offering even an educated guess.

What we can say is that Therapy and Wellness Connection aims to maximize the time we have with your child by having speech therapy sessions at home or in school with our clients. This helps facilitate faster carry-over so that the lessons we’re teaching stick. That can cut down on the length of time your child needs to remain in therapy.