Speech clarity (intelligibility) significantly impacts the ability of an individual to get their message across. Difficulties with speech clarity can lead to frustration and behavioural issues. While all children are initially difficult to understand, it is expected that by 2 years of age they will make notable improvement and be understood more than 50% of the time. By the age of 3, it is expected that they can be understood approximately 90% of the time.
Speech clarity issues may develop later in life due to stroke, brain injury or degenerative illnesses, such as Parkinson’s or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Speech clarity varies in severity and is impacted by a number of factors, such as: type and number of error sounds, the rate of speech, inconsistencies, prosody (intonation, stress), volume, breath support, dysfluencies, and/or fatigue.
Speech-Language Pathologists can assess and treat challenges with speech clarity regardless of the age or the cause of the difficulty.