- Muscles used to create different sounds. This can be due to muscle weakness and may be linked to difficulties like cerebral palsy.
- Sending messages from the brain to make different speech sounds. This may sometimes be described as 'dyspraxia'.
- Learning and using different sounds to make words. This can be called ‘phonological difficulties’.
Phonological difficulties (difficulties with sounds)
Most children follow a similar pattern in learning sounds. Some children have difficulty in learning and using sounds in the right places for words.
Young children with phonological difficulties
During pre-school years, children will learn lots of different sounds. They will also learn how to organise these sounds into words.
Primary-aged children with phonological difficulties
Usually, most children will be using a full range of speech sounds by the time they are 5 years. Some children however, will have difficulty in developing these skills.
Primary-aged children may be experiencing difficulties if they:
- Only use a small number of sounds.
- Are swapping one sound for another e.g saying 'tat' instead of 'cat'.
- Are missing the ends off words.
- Have difficulty with vowel sounds e.g. saying 'poor' instead of 'pear' or 'pot' instead of 'pat'.
- Have difficulty with long or complicated words like 'banana' or 'aeroplane'.
Good sound skills are needed when learning to talk. They are also important for developing reading and spelling.