Australia: dummies don’t cause speech disorder

07 December 2018

Dummies are not associated with phonological impairment, a study has found.

Dummies iStock

The findings, published in Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, showed no significant link between nutritive or non-nutritive sucking habits and the common speech disorder that affects children’s ability to learn how to use sounds correctly and in the right context.

Scientists at the University of Sydney looked at 199 pre-schoolers to see if dummies, bottles, breastfeeding or thumb-sucking affected speech.

Lead author Dr Elise Baker said: ‘The findings suggest that for the majority of children with speech delay, the problem is not to do with the mouth, but rather associated with how children learn the sound system of language.’

The study does not rule out a link with less common problems such as a lisp.

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