The dislalia is a disorder that occurs in the area of the language and originates during the first childhood , also it has a fairly high frequency of appearance. If it is taken into account that speech is the main means of communication for human beings to communicate, any difficulties that may occur at this level of expression will have negative repercussions on the child’s social – emotional development.


What is dyslalia?

Dyslalia is the difficulty that occurs in the production or in the articulation of one or more phonemes without underlying disorders of the central nervous system , the peripheral nervous system , or anatomical lesions in the body’s organs.


It is a disorder in the area of learning and must be treated early to avoid school dropouts and low performance. It is for this reason that it is considered of vital importance to promote knowledge about this disorder in order to facilitate its possible treatment.


Characteristics of dyslalia

The main characteristics of children with dyslalia are the following:

  • It can occur in children with normal learning such as those with abnormal development.
  • It is common to see it in children with mental retardation , conduct disorders or visual-auditory deficiencies .
  • There is an alteration in the pronunciation of verbal sounds.
  • It can manifest as omission , distortion and substitution.
  • It is one of the most common disorders in the child population.
  • It can be caused by organic or functional causes , in the peripheral and conductive structure of the verbal functional system.


There are four different types of dyslalias, each with its different characteristics:

  • Evolutionary or physiological dyslalia : it occurs in phases of the development of children’s speech in which children still cannot articulate sounds correctly or when they can distort some phonemes. So usually it is taken for immaturity , lack of proper discrimination hearing , lack of monitoring in the breath, some alterations of respiratory type or the improper movements in the articulators.
  • Audiogenic dyslalia : it occurs when there is a hearing deficit usually accompanied by other alterations in language , voice and rhythm . Let us remember that, in order to speak correctly, hearing plays a very important role.
  • Organic dyslalia : it can occur when there is a lesion in the central nervous system that is known as dysarthria or also, because there is an organic alteration in the different peripheral organs of speech without causing any type of damage in the central nervous system.
  • Functional Dislalia : is produced by the bad functioning of the organs involved in the joint without any organic injury. The most common among this type of dyslalia are phonetic disorders and phonological disorders . Phonetics are related to the proper production of phonemes and auditory processes are not altered. Phonological are damage at the perceptual and organizational level in hearing that affects the way in which concepts are given to sounds and the relationship that occurs between meanings.

Causes of dyslalia

There are several factors that must be taken into account to know the causes of dyslalia. However, it is said that the phonological delay of speech in children occurs because they failed to learn the sounds that were more complex in language. When children cannot learn the correct way to perform the patterns of mouth movements to produce some sounds, they begin to make mistakes or omissions of words. Some physical malformations in children are also directly involved in speaking and making sounds. Poor coordination of the muscles needed to speak, for example in children with cleft lip or palate they can lead to dyslalia.


The symptoms that occur in dyslalia can vary depending on the degree of affectation that occurs in the body. The difficulty that children have in articulating words can also vary, from a simple omission to making the language impossible to understand. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • The sounds are replaced by others generally caused by the deficit in auditory discrimination .
  • Distortion error giving the wrong shape of the joint.
  • Omission of phonemes that cannot be pronounced or substitution of the same.
  • Adding phonemes to words.
  • The order of the sounds is changed .


To make a proper diagnosis, several aspects must be taken into account. The first is to conduct an interview with the child’s parents to obtain an anamnesis of the problem, in it, it will seek to obtain a reference of how the infant’s maturation has been, collection of personal and family data, motor development and schooling. Then, the articulations of the words must be examined to determine the problem, the situation between the phoneme and the problem must be detailed and if it is in an initial or advanced stage. It is also important to determine in the diagnosis if there are motor problems that cause dyslalia, if there are problems withhearing discrimination or if there is any added pathology.

Treatment of dyslalia

Treatment is usually done by a speech therapist and is intended for the child to learn to articulate sounds correctly. Thus, methods are used to stimulate the child’s ability to produce sounds, exercises to vocalize syllables, exercises for the muscles involved in the production of sounds. In case the condition is accompanied by physical malformations , then help from the doctor will be necessary , and if the cause is due to phonological delays , an intervention from the education area will also be necessary.


Among the most common exercises used to help children with dyslalia we mention the following:

  • Breathing and breath exercises
  • Lingual exercises
  • Auditory discrimination exercises

Leave a Comment