lisplisp Speech sound disorder - Speech disorders - Adults - Speech and Language Therapy

Speech Sound Disorder

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What to expect

Speech Sound Disorder

A speech sound disorder is when people have difficulty articulating sounds and using correct phonological processes. The disorder often develops after mistakes continue in the production of speech when being learned at a young age. Adults can also have difficulties if these mistakes continue into adulthood, or after suffering a stroke or head injury.

What is speech sound disorder?

Speech sound disorder is when someone finds it difficult to articulate sounds and use the correct phonological processes. Speech sound disorder in adults can be categorised into:

Apraxia of speech

Apraxia of speech occurs after damage to the part of the brain which controls speech. The extent of Apraxia depends upon the amount of damage to the brain and to which area. Individuals suffering from this disorder will have difficulty sequencing syllable sounds and words. Apraxia can also occur at the same time as dysarthria.


Dysarthria is a result of a stroke or brain injury, when muscles of the face, mouth and respiratory system become weakened or move slower. The extent of damage will depend on the severity of injury to the brain.

What causes speech sound disorder?

In adults, the cause of speech sound disorder can follow on from childhood or occur after a stroke or head injury. Other causes include cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.

What problems caused by speech sound disorder can speech and language therapy help with?

The following may be helped through speech and language therapy:

Speech and language therapy aims will be different for each individual and depend upon the level of difficulty experienced.

How does speech and language therapy help speech sound disorder?

Speech and language therapy can improve a client's communication skills and help them to develop coping strategies and management of their disorder. Speech and language therapy can also help to slow down the rate of speech. This may result in a client becoming more confident and therefore more fluent in their production of speech.

Speech and language therapy will be individualised to the individual's specific needs and abilities.

Benefits of speech and language therapy for the treatment of speech sound disorder include:

What would speech and language therapy treatment for speech sound disorder involve?

Speech and language therapy for speech sound disorder may include some or all of the following:

An initial assessment will be carried out by one of our speech and language therapists. This will highlight any worries and difficulties concerning communication and speech. It will also provide a chance for you to share any concerns you may have, and allow you to discuss what you would like to work on and improve in therapy.

How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment for speech sound disorder?

To arrange an initial assessment please call 0330 0885 643 or email and one of our speech and language therapists will be happy to help.


Speech sound disorder can occur in adults following on from childhood or through injury to the brain. Speech and language therapy can help with the result of speech sound disorder and give individuals strategies and solutions to manage and improve their symptoms in the best possible way for them. To arrange an appointment with one of our speech and language therapists please call 0330 0885 643.

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Next steps

To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email


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All our speech and language therapists are registered with the RCSLT and the HCPC

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