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 ___’, ‘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!