Information taken from American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASNA)
WHAT ARE PHONOLOGICAL DISORDERS?
A phonological disorder is difficulty with the rules for combining sounds in speech. A child with a phonological disorder may mispronounce sounds in certain words but be able to pronounce it correctly in other words (i.e., a child may be able to pronounce the /s/ in sand but say “bu” for bus”). Typically the entire sound system is impacted and the child is very difficult to understand due to the number of sound errors.
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A PHONOLOGICAL DISORDER?
A child is considered to have a phonological disorder if he / she exhibits phonological processes beyond the age when most typically developing children have stopped using them. The onset of phonological disorders typically occurs before age 9.
WHAT CAUSES PHONOLOGICAL DISORDERS?
The following issues may cause phonological disorders:
- Chronic ear infections in childhood and infancy
- Special populations: hearing impairment, Down Syndrome, cleft palate
- Psychological or social issues
- Cause can also be unknown
OUR APPROACH AT KEY THERAPIES:
Treatment for phonological disorders will focus on targeting the phonological processes instead of targeting the individual sound error. A home program will also be taught to caregivers so that follow-through can be completed at home.