What is Speech?
Most children make some mistakes as they learn to say new words. A speech sound disorder occurs when mistakes continue past a certain age. Every sound has a different range of ages when the child should make the sound correctly. Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation (making sounds) and phonological processes (sound patterns).
To learn more about typical speech sound development, see How Does Your Child Hear and Talk?
The most common speech disorders dealt with within the school setting are articulation and phonological processes disorders. There are other speech disorders that can be addressed within the school setting if it is seen that such a disorder affects a child's academic performance. Such disorders may include fluency disorders, apraxia and voice disorders.
What if I speak more than one language? Is my accent a speech sound disorder?
An accent is the unique way that speech is pronounced by a group of people speaking the same language. Accents are a natural part of spoken languages. It is important to realize that no accent is better than another. Accents are NOT a speech or language disorder. An SLP can work on accent modification services if a client wishes to reduce or modify his or her accent.