Disordered pronunciation in the babble of a 10 month old baby

This is a personal case study relating to my first daughter: It quickly became apparent that Ella had speech articulation difficulties as she developed babbling and her first words.

By her 1st Birthday I had already started 'treating' her and presents included toy instruments for oral practice and to encourage rhythm.

She presented with very cleft-like speech similar to two of her cousins on both sides of the family. There was no cleft palate of any type, but Ella used no fricatives (f,s,v,z) until she was just over 4 years old, but instead replaced these as well as 2nd syllables with a mix of nasal grimacing, nasal snorting or nasal phonemes - I was "Mumung", Daddy was "Daddung", etc.

She also had a vowel disorder and consequently could be very difficult to understand especially as she had no problems with expressive language and spoke in long sentences from a very young age.

I decided to start inputting therapy. This involved lots of speech modelling, lots of sound/babble play, masses of minimal pair games and loads of rhyming play and books.

Therapy was part of everyday routines over a 3 year period. She was also uncoordinated so we did lots of rhythm and music games and attended local groups for movement, music, singing and stories.

By 4½ years old, Ella's speech pronunciation was age appropriate, but she was later diagnosed with body dyspraxia aged 9 years old.


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