Children are actually developing precursor articulation skills within their first six months. During that time, they are listening to sounds and words around them, and playing with their own mouths to see what happens when they use various parts of their speech mechanism.
Later, children begin to learn how to use their tongue, jaw, lips, 'teeth' and voice box to intentionally reproduce sounds they hear from parents, sibs, and peers. You'll remember your toddler making 'silly' sounds with peals of laughter.
Sometimes children have difficulty making movements with their articulators to reproduce sounds of their language. If you know anyone who cannot make their mouth (lips, jaw, tongue, soft palate) whistle particular notes of a song, it is a similar issue. Articulation issues can result from auditory (listening) issues or from muscle (movement) issues.
At GLSA we identify the best approach to help children produce sounds alone, in words, phrases and then sentences. With older students it is a direct approach; with younger children a series of approximations toward consistent movements for vowels and consonants. Dr. Lybolt has developed articulation treatments for older clients that focus on building muscle awareness and motor memory for speech sounds. With these techniques, clients often produce correct sounds within the first session; then treatment can focus on solidifying monitoring, transferring and self-correction skills.
Contact us at (847) 564-9230 or firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.