Articulation or Motor Speech Disorders

Articulation impairments are characterized by specific sound impairments that are defined by one or more of the following:

  • Substitution: One sound is substituted for another in one or more positions in a word. For example, “baf” for “bath,” or “take” for “cake.”
  • Omission: One or more sounds in omitted from words.         
  • Distortion:  The sound is produced in words, but is distorted or incorrectly made. Distortion errors commonly include mispronunciation of the sounds r, l, and s.       
  • Addition:  sounds are added to words that don’t belong.


Articulation errors are common as speech and   language skills develop in young children. However, when articulation errors persist past an age where the sounds should be produced normally, a speech therapy assessment may be warranted. The ages at which articulation errors are normal or abnormal vary for each sound. Your pediatrician is a good resource to determine if you should be concerned about your child’s articulation, and can refer you to a speech therapist for evaluation.



Apraxia of speech is a motor disorder caused by difficulty of the brain sending the correct message to the mouth and articulators to correctly form speech sounds.  It is not a result of weakness of the mouth.  Symptoms of apraxia of speech may include severe delays in talking, very limited speech output, speech that is limited to only a few sounds,  speech that is very difficult to understand, or speech that has errors that are not patterned (as in articulation impairment). 

Lake Regional’s speech therapy team has years of experience evaluating and treating  articulation and motor speech delays in children, capitalizing on fun play for your child while targeting speech changes. 

For more information on apraxia of speech, please visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) website.