Your toddler is just beginning to speak and often mispronounces words or sentences. While most of the time this is just cute baby talk, there are times when these mispronunciations are more than just a phase.
Sometimes, these are the early symptoms of articulation disorders.
Simply put, it is the incorrect or inaccurate production of words or sounds.
These pronunciation difficulties result from inappropriate placement of lips or tongue or even the teeth for that matter. There are many causes of articulation disorder in toddlers. Articulation disorders can also sometimes be the result of dysfunctional oral or motor skills, in short, neurological dysfunction. However, in several cases, the cause for an articulation disorder remains unidentified.
If you suspect that your toddler is not able to articulate correctly, the ideal thing to do is consult your toddler’s pediatrician. Usually the suggested remedy is speech therapy. An early start always helps and in most cases speech therapy proves highly effective.
Some toddlers also suffer from toddler phonological speech disorders. These are also speech or articulation disorders but phonological disorders or phonemic disorders, as they are sometimes called, refer to problems in producing very distinctive sounds when speaking. It means that sometimes certain speech sounds are not produced, or they are mispronounced. Usually these disorders are associated with toddlerhood and, more often than not, can be corrected at that age, but if not addressed appropriately the effects of these disorders could carry through to adulthood.
It is to be noted that most toddlers do stutter, speak slowly, or use incorrect articulation as they learn to speak. You only need to be concerned when you find that your toddler is repeatedly unable to articulate words. Then it’s time to consult a speech therapist.