Solving Speech Articulation Errors with Rose Griffin

Welcome to the show! I’m Dr. Mary Barbera, and today I’m thrilled to have my good friend and colleague, Rose Griffin, back on the podcast. Rose is a seasoned Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), making her uniquely qualified to address the complex issues surrounding speech and language development in children, especially those with autism and speech delays.

 In this episode, we dive into the early milestones of speech sound development, what speech articulation errors may look like, the importance of early intervention for speech and articulation, and practical strategies to help children improve their speech articulation and  verbal communication.

Rose shares her expert insights on typical speech sound development, what to do if you notice speech articulation errors, the role of joint attention, and how parents can be proactive in supporting their child’s speech journey. 

We also explore common speech articulation errors, how to identify them, and effective techniques to correct these errors. Whether you’re a parent, a professional, or someone interested in speech therapy, this episode is packed with valuable information and resources to help you better understand and support speech development. Let’s get started!


  • When do babies begin to babble?
  • When and what speech sounds come first? 
  • Speech sound development
  • All about speech articulation errors
  • When and how to intervene for speech articulation errors

What is Articulation?

Speech articulation refers to the physical ability to move the tongue, lips, jaw, to produce sounds, words, and sentences.

Articulation development typically follows a predictable pattern, with certain sounds emerging earlier than others.

Rose explains that , simpler sounds like “p,” “b,” and “m” usually appear before more complex sounds like “r” or “th.”

Effective articulation is crucial for clear communication, and speech articulation errors can lead to speech that is hard to understand, impacting a child’s ability to express themselves and be understood by others.

Speech Sound Development

It is important to understand typical speech sound development in order to know if a child has speech articulation errors. With new talkers, it can be normal to have what rose calls a final sound deletion, while having a fully conversational child who cannot pronounce higher level sounds may need intervention.

Simpler sounds like “p,” “b,” and “m” generally appear first, while more complex sounds such as “r” and “th” develop later. Rose created a reel to follow all about what we should look for in terms of typical speech sound development. 

When a child begins babbling, between 4 and 6 months of age, we will hear the earlier sounds repeated and as rose highlighted, this is the precursor to more advanced speech.

Children’s babbling becomes more complex as they age until they combine basic speech sounds to form their first words. Rose highlighted the significance of early babbling as a precursor to more advanced speech and discussed the typical progression from simple to complex sound formations.

The SLP Now blog shared this helpful image to illustrate what speech sounds we can expect to hear. Understanding typical speech sound development is the first step to noticing and supporting a child with speech articulation errors. 

speech articulation errors. speech sound development
Typical speech sound development quick reference.

Importance of Solving Speech Articulation Errors

Noticing and working on speech articulation errors early, as with other speech and language concerns, is best. 

  • Early identification allows for timely intervention and correction.
  • Improves clarity and understandability of speech.
  • Enhances a child’s ability to express themselves and be understood.
  • Boosts confidence and social interactions.
  • Supports academic and social success.
  • Prevents the reinforcement of incorrect speech patterns.
  • Ensures developmental milestones are met appropriately.

What are common speech articulation issues?

I have seen many speech articulation errors in my career and they tend to involve kids speaking in phrases that are too long for their current ability so that they are unintelligible or they are new talkers who may be deleting part of the word when learning to speak. 

In the podcast episode, Rose discussed common speech articulation errors, emphasizing final consonant deletion. This error, where children omit the final consonant sound of words (e.g., saying “ba” instead of “bat”), is a typical developmental process for young children. However, if this pattern persists beyond a certain age, it can hinder speech clarity.

 Rose explained that speech therapists are trained to identify such errors and determine whether they are part of typical development or indicative of an articulation disorder. By analyzing speech samples and understanding the child’s sound inventory, therapists can develop targeted interventions to correct these errors and improve overall speech intelligibility.

How to Help a Child with Speech Articulation Problems? 

Addressing speech articulation issues requires a structured and individualized approach. If you notice that there may be an issue, it is important to notify a child’s team right away. 

Intervention strategies should be designed to improve the clarity and accuracy of a child’s speech by focusing on specific sounds that are problematic.

This involves assessing the child’s current speech abilities, identifying patterns of errors, and using evidence-based techniques to correct them.

Engaging the child in playful and meaningful activities, providing consistent practice, and ensuring the generalization of skills to natural environments are critical components of effective speech therapy.

Intervention Strategies:

  • Assessment and Sound Inventory: Evaluate the child’s current speech abilities and identify the specific sounds they struggle with.
  • Error Pattern Analysis: Determine common errors such as final consonant deletion, substitution, or omission.
  • Targeted Practice: Focus on correcting specific sounds using repetitive and structured practice.
  • Functional Words: Choose words that are meaningful and frequently used by the child.
  • Playful Techniques: Integrate speech practice into engaging and enjoyable activities to maintain the child’s interest.
  • Prompting and Reinforcement: Use prompts to guide correct sound production and reinforce successful attempts.
  • Generalization: Ensure that the child can use the corrected sounds in various settings and contexts, not just during therapy sessions.
  • Parental Involvement: Encourage parents to practice sounds at home and provide them with strategies to support their child’s speech development.
  • Consistency: Maintain regular therapy sessions and consistent practice to ensure steady progress.
  • Monitoring and Adjustment: Continuously monitor the child’s progress and adjust the intervention plan as needed to address any new or persistent issues.

It is important to note, that we want to make sure any intervention is fun and meaningful. 

I once had a client who was labelling a card in his known box “bulldozer” but he did not have the sounds or ability to say a word with that many syllable lengths, meaning the team was consistently practicing errors. 

This picture card was not functional to the child and was actually making his speech articulation errors worse!

Key Takeaways for Solving Speech Articulation Errors

As always, Rose was an extremely knowledgeable guest. 3 key takeaways that you can use to get started with solving speech articulation errors are; 

  • Early Identification and Intervention: Recognizing speech articulation errors, such as final consonant deletion, early on is crucial for timely and effective intervention. Early speech milestones like babbling and joint attention are important indicators of later speech development. Getting a SLP on your child’s team early can make all the difference. 

  • Practical Strategies for Improvement: Using functional words, engaging in playful activities, and ensuring the generalization of skills are essential strategies in speech therapy.  Ensure we do not discourage speech by keeping practice of sounds to therapy sessions until they are ready to be generalized to full words. Consistent practice and parental involvement are also key to improving a child’s speech clarity and overall communication skills.

  • Holistic Approach to Therapy: A comprehensive approach that includes assessing the child’s sound inventory, analyzing error patterns, and tailoring interventions to the child’s specific needs can significantly enhance their speech development. Regular monitoring and adjustments to the therapy plan are necessary to address ongoing or new challenges effectively.