Dyslalia: What is it and how to treat it?

Dyslalia or infantile language is a disorder in the formation of phonemes that occurs in children and that consists of the difficulty to pronounce or simply the incorrect pronunciation of some or some groups of phonemes.

When children begin to speak, it is normal that they do not speak correctly and that sometimes it is difficult to understand them. However, at a certain age, the language should be perfected, and the child should have improved his pronunciation. However, this does not always happen, and it is in schools or kindergartens where this disorder is detected. When this happens, we speak of simple infantile language or dyslalia. Psikids experts explain what dyslalia is.

What is dyslalia?

Dyslalia is one of the strongest disorders that occur in children. It is a disorder in the articulation of phonemes, which causes children to mispronounce phonemes or a group of phonemes.

There are several types of dyslalia:

  • Developmental or physiological dyslalia: there is a phase in the development of language in which the child does not articulate or distorts some phonemes. These errors are called developmental dyslalia, which usually disappear with time and should not normally be intervened before the age of four.
  • Audiogenic dyslalia: its cause lies in a hearing impairment. Intervention would be aimed directly at increasing their auditory discrimination, improving their voice or correcting the altered phonemes and implanting those that do not exist.
  • Organic dyslalia: articulation disorders whose cause is organic are known as organic dyslalia.
  • If the cerebral neuronal centers (CNS) are affected, they are called dysarthria and are part of the language disorders of motor deficient persons. If there are anomalies or malformations of the speech organs, such as the lips, tongue or palate, they are called dysglossia.
  • Functional dyslalia: it is the alteration of the articulation produced by a malfunction of the articulatory organs. The affected child does not use these organs correctly when articulating a phoneme even though there is no organic cause, this being the most common.
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Dyslalia usually refers to functional dyslalia, the most common types of errors being substitution, distortion, omission or addition.

How is dyslalia treated?

Patience must play an important role in these cases, since language disorders usually have a positive long-term prognosis. It does not take two months for the child to change the way he or she speaks, but after a proper treatment by a qualified speech therapist and a correct and constant work at home, dyslalia tends to improve and children recover their self-esteem.

Five tips to start treating dyslalia

If you do not know where to start, the first step should be to see an expert speech therapist, although the following tips may help.

  • Stimulate the coordination of the movements necessary for the pronunciation of sounds with both tongue and lip exercises, for example, moving the tongue up and down or side to side, and blowing kisses with the lips.
  • Stimulate the child’s ability to produce sounds.
  • Encourage blowing, as it is very important that he learns to use his diaphragm on his own. A good example would be blowing up balloons or blowing a ball through a straw.
  • Perform exercises in which the child must produce the sound of syllables, until the muscular pattern necessary for the articulation of the sound becomes automatic.
  • Prepare the child to start with whole words, mainly through games.

Thus, in summary, the treatment consists of exercising the musculature involved in sound production. It is important that the adults around the child speak correctly so that the child listens, and especially the child must be allowed to express himself without interruptions, so that he can demand what he needs.