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Difficulty pronouncing certain sounds or groups of sounds correctly is known as dyslalia and it can affect any sound, consonant or vowel. Not all sounds are acquired at the same age and this must be taken into account so as not to worry excessively or force children to articulate them ahead of time.
For example, it is normal for a child at three to say 'data' instead of 'rat', since the 'rr', is generally the most complicated sound and it is usually the latest to appear in the developmental sequence.
Generally, the sounds that produce the most problems are those that are acquired later as the r, s, l, z, ch being the most complicated to pronounce. The causes that may be behind a poor articulation of one or more sounds can be many:
- The immaturity of the articulatory organs: children who have barely chewed or who have continued to use a bottle or pacifier after three years.
- Organic problems related to hearing loss, tongue tie, respiratory problems, abnormalities or malformations of the speech organs ...
- Children with durative delay.
- Bilingualism, environmental deprivation, overprotection (imitate their childish language ...)
- Lack of control of fine motor skills.
- Perceptual errors and difficulty imitating movements.
- The presence of disability, etc.
Some tips can help us prevent joint defects:
- Get your child used to breathing through his nose, teach him to clean mucus by blowing his nose.
- To strengthen the articular organs, it is advisable for children to eat solid foods that require some effort when chewing.
- It is advisable to make a hearing scan whenever speech problems are detected.
- Play with him to recognize sounds, to differentiate one from another (doorbell, car, instruments, body parts ...)
- Exercise the organs of the articulation: play to move the tongue (take it out, put it in, raise it, lower it ...), make faces with your lips, blow, gargle ...
- Play onomatopoeia imitation: animals, ambient noises (pon-pon, hahaha, rig-ring ...)
The involvement of teachers, speech therapists and family will be essential to detect any speech alteration and to carry out the most appropriate intervention in each case as soon as possible.
You can read more articles similar to Tips to help children pronounce r and s, in the Language category - On-site speech therapy.