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Quick Facts on Speech Sound Disorder

A brief overview of the signs and symptoms of speech sound disorder, and how it's treated in children and adolescents.

en Español


Children with speech sound disorder have difficulty forming speech sounds.  They may have trouble articulating individual sounds, being understood, modulating the volume and timing of speech, and they may stutter or lisp. Speech sound disorder is distinct from language disorder in that it involves a disability to produce sound, whereas children with language disorder struggle to comprehend and produce language.


  • Difficulty coordinating the movement of the jaw, tongue, and lips, which all aid clear articulation
  • Difficult to understand speech past the age of three years old
  • Struggling with to produce specific speech sounds
  • Speech development that lags children their age
  • Impairments in motor coordination of facial muscles, such as chewing or nose-blowing
  • Hoarse, raspy, or nasal voice
  • Abruptly changing the pitch or volume of speech
  • Running out of air while speaking
  • Lisping or stuttering

Treatment of Speech Sound Disorder

Speech sound disorder is usually treated with speech therapy, where kids can learn how to create sounds they struggle with and differentiate between the ones they tend to mix up. In mild cases, the disorder can disappear of its own accord.

This article was last reviewed or updated on January 30, 2024.