Dislalia: Symptoms, Causes, Classification and Treatment According to Experts

The most frequent speech disorder among children.

Definition: It is defined as a pronunciation disorder caused by organic or functional problems with the peripheral organs of speech and consists of the inability to emit one or more sounds.

Experts estimate that Dislalia affects about 26% of girls and 34% of boys by five years.

At the age of 8, the number of children affected by this problem is reduced to 15% in the case of girls and 16% in the case of boys.


The symptoms can be varied; here are some of them:

  • Replacement of some sounds with others.
  • Distortion of sounds.
  • Omission of some sounds.
  • Change of syllables in a word.
  • Emphasize words wrongly.
  • “Swallow” word endings.
  • Sloppy pronunciation
  • Disorders in the rhythm of speech and conditions of the tempo.
  • Tartamudeo

If you want to know more efficiently if your child has a problem, pay close attention to how he pronounces the letters R, C, G, T, S, Z, J, B, D, T, M, N, A, E, OR.

These sounds are the most affected by dyslalia.


If these speech problems do not resolve by the age of 4, consult a speech therapist who will develop a program to correct speech defects that suit the child’s characteristics.



The causes of the Dislalia are, in most cases, perception and processing of the auditory and visual alterations, as well as disorders of the speech organs (usually in the region of the oral musculature).

Often, however, there are genetic or related family causes, or perhaps the sound is not used in the mother tongue and is unknown to the child.

Classification of Visalia

Visalia can be distinguished between disturbances in the phonetic range and interference in the phonological zone.

Under the phonetic aspect

Visalia is the interference in the formation of speech sounds: sounds can not be formed correctly due to the difficulty of articulation at the motor level.

The most common example of a disorder of this type is Sigmatism (“SEO”), defects of the sounds of the letter S.

The phonological aspect

However, he sees Dislalia as interruptions in speech sounds: sounds are formed correctly but are not applied by systematic norms.

They are often omitted or replaced by other sounds in the native language, such as / t / of the / k /.

Classification according to the severity of the Visalia

Another classification can be determined by the severity of the Visalia, that is if a single sound or more are affected:

Invariant Visalia: When a particular sound is sometimes correct, it is said incorrectly.

Incompatible dyslalia: When a sound depends on the position of the sound of the word is replaced by different sounds;

Partial Visalia: When one or two sounds are incorrectly formed, but the language is still easy to understand;

Multiple Visalia: When more than two sounds are incorrectly formed, the language is more difficult to understand;

Universal Visalia: When most of the sounds are affected, the language is composed mainly of the vowels (also called “vocal language”), which are incomprehensible.


Depending on the disorder and cause, it is best to go to a speech specialist or speech therapist to improve the child’s speech.

The specialist will perform exercises to strengthen the muscles used to produce sounds. The objective of these exercises is to improve the articulation of words, breathing, the rhythm of pronunciations, expressions, etc.

In these therapies, the specialist will apply the necessary exercises through games to make them easier to perform. Likewise, they are also performed in this way so that the child is happy to learn these new skills.

Sometimes, when the inconvenience has a physical origin, it will be necessary to perform a medical procedure.

Consult your pediatrician or trusted physician to locate the cause and establish the most appropriate treatment.

Tips to correct speech

Although most of these problems can not be solved without the intervention of a specialist that offers a series of special techniques.

There are some practical tips that you can follow to prevent speech problems and correct them, probably in addition to sessions with a speech therapist.

So, here are some tips from speech therapy specialists to effectively correct your children’s speech:

Develop the muscles of the child’s jaw and tongue through vigorous chewing of food, rinsing the mouth, inflating the cheeks, passing the air from one cheek to the other, vice versa, etc.

Talk with your child exclusively in the correct language. Although the temptation is sometimes high, do not use a child’s vocabulary.

Read poems and stories with your child daily.

Talk as often as possible with your little one. Answer all your questions patiently; this encourages the child to ask even more questions.

Speak correctly and as much as possible. Repeat a word or phrase several times to prevent your child from exchanging words.

Help your child do sound joint correction exercises every day, aiming to correct the functioning of the muscles involved in the pronunciation of sounds.

These include training exercises for the organs involved in producing sounds, the correct placement of the lips, the tongue, etc.

Do not overexert your child. These sessions should not last more than 15-20 minutes.

Carry out different activities with your child designed to develop your fine motor skills.

If your child stutters, good results can be achieved in correcting this defect using music lessons, as they contribute to the development of breathing during the speech, tempo, and rhythm.

These classes for children should not be boring. Try to turn them into an exciting game to create a pleasant, calm, and encouraging environment, which predisposes your child to achieve good results to overcome the Visalia.