Articulation Therapy and Accent Reduction

Having difficulty pronouncing speech sounds and words correctly can have detrimental consequences. Frustration of not being understood, embarrassment, low self-esteem, bullying, and the adverse effects on job and career are just some of the consequences.

Children and adults can have difficulty speaking clearly. Problems with articulation can be as a result of a variety of circumstances, such as having a foreign accent, childhood apraxia of speech, incorrect learning, problems with mouth muscles and structures, incorrect movements of oral structures, hearing impairment, and extended thumb sucking and pacifier use.

Before a therapy program can begin, the client must be evaluated to help learn about what might be contributing to the articulation problem and if there are specific sounds the client is having difficulty making. The client is usually administered a formal articulation test as well as evaluated while talking. The speech-language pathologist will ask to look into their mouth, ask them to drink or eat something, and ask them to move their mouth in certain ways. The evaluation might include a hearing screening to make sure the person is hearing speech sounds accurately. The individualized therapy program is then based upon the findings of the evaluation and the client goals.

Client progress is highly dependent upon the amount of home practice and completion of homework assignments given to you by the speech-language pathologist. Speech production is a complex motor process. And just like learning a new way to hit a golf ball or swing at a tennis ball, learning a new way to produce speech sounds takes a lot of practice. Therapy and practice for an articulation problem or for accent modification involves listening activities and practice correctly saying the speech sounds individually, in words, and in longer contexts.

If you or your child are having difficulty speaking clearly or being understood, call SpeechCare to set up an evaluation (717) 569-8972.

Resources:
http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/
http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/ChildSandL.htm
http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/Accent-Modification/
http://www.apraxia-kids.org/