Production Problems

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What to expect

Production Problems

Production is the process whereby speech sounds are selected, put together and produced in order to form words which can be clearly understood by the listener. Any difficulties with this process will result in a production problem. Speech and language therapy is highly beneficial in helping to improve and develop production difficulties.

What is a production problem?

A production problem is a difficulty in producing certain sounds correctly; this difficulty may lead to the person with a production problem being misunderstood by others around them.

A child with a production problem will have difficulty producing particular speech sounds which will affect their production of spoken words.

Children may present with either delayed or disordered speech production.

Delayed speech production

A delay is where a child's speech development is behind their typically developing peers but follows the typical sequence of development.

Disordered speech production

A disorder is where a child's speech is severely behind their typically developing peers and doesn't follow the typical pattern of development.

The child may have a phonological delay or disorder where they have difficulty selecting the appropriate sounds from their phonological system (sound patterns of a language).

The child may also have an articulatory disorder, where the child has problems producing or perceiving speech. This occurs from the child being physiologically unable to produce the sounds, through the use of their teeth, lips, tongue, palate, respiratory system, facial nerves and muscles.

Production problems can range from mild to severe. In milder forms production problems may only affect specific speech sounds or words. In more severe cases a production problem may affect the intelligibility (how much we are understood by others) of a child's sentences and every day conversation.

Having a production problem may affect the child's ability to make themselves understood in a variety of settings, and with different people e.g. at home or school and with teachers or parents.

Production problems may also have an impact on expressive language problems i.e. the child's spoken language.

What causes production problems?

In some cases the cause of production problems are unknown, however there are known causes of production problems including the following:

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

Speech and language therapy can help with the following, which may contribute or be a result of production problems:

How is a production problem diagnosed?

An assessment carried out by the speech and language therapist will determine whether your child has a production problem. An initial assessment will involve the following:

  • A general conversation with you about your child's production problems and any concerns you may have regarding their speech and language ability.
  • Taking a history of your child's development.
  • An observation of your child's play, speech and language skills.
  • An assessment of your child's speech and language and more specifically your child's production e.g. asking your child to name pictures, recording a spontaneous speech sample and assessing your child's motor speech movements (tongue, mouth, palate, facial nerves).

How does speech and language therapy help production problems?

Speech and language therapy can help to improve production problems, aiming to increase the clarity of your child's speech production. Speech and language therapy will aim to increase your child's discrimination and production of speech sounds, in words, phrases and sentences.

In more severe cases where a child's speech and language is very limited, the speech and language therapist may introduce alternative and augmentative communication.

Early intervention is beneficial for a child with a production problem and this may be resolved with therapy.

What would speech and language therapy treatment for production problems involve?

A detailed assessment of your child's speech and language will be carried out by one of our speech and language therapists, this assessment will help decide on what is the best treatment option for your child's specific communication needs. Treatment at speech and language therapy after this point may involve:

Specific treatments for production problems can include:

You will also be provided with the chance to share any concerns you may have, and discuss what you would like to work on and improve for your child in speech and language therapy.

How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment for production problems?

An initial assessment with one our speech and language therapists can be arranged by emailing office@slt.co.uk or calling 0330 0885 643.

Summary

A production problem is a difficulty in producing speech sounds clearly; this may affect the intelligibility of your child's speech. The speech and language therapist will aim to increase the clarity of your child's speech and maximise their communicative ability. If you feel you and your child would benefit from any of the above services for speech and language therapy then please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing office@slt.co.uk or calling 0330 0885 643.


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