Some children have difficulty saying certain sounds (articulation difficulties). ‘Intelligible’ is a term that Speech-Language Therapists (SLTs) use to describe how well a child’s speech is being understood by others.
For example, a 3-year-old whose speech is still not easily understood by unfamiliar listeners/strangers is described to be unintelligible.
Here are some examples of articulation errors which affects a child’s speech intelligibility:
- ’rabbit’ becomes ‘wabbit’
- ‘sun’ becomes ‘tun’
- ‘cup’ becomes ‘tup’
- ‘lips’ becomes ‘wips’
- ‘fish’ becomes ‘pish’
SLTs will be able to determine which sounds that children with articulation disorders have difficulty with. If you’re concerned about your child’s speech intelligibility, please contact a Speech-Language Therapist for an evaluation.
At home, parents can model correctly for the child when he/she pronounces a word wrongly. Bear in mind to not correct them too often (e.g. ‘say it again’, ‘that’s wrong!’) as it may be demotivating for the child.
The last thing we want is to make speaking/talking a negative experience for them!