Dey tant be as twicky as you tink!
What are they?
What do they sound like?
When a child goes to say a particular sound (or group of sounds), the sound is changed in a predictable way. Generally, the errors are consistent and follow patterns, and usually apply to a particular sound regardless of the position within a word or phrase
e.g. Whenever a child goes to say a “k” sound within a word, it will come out as a “t” sound – “cat” becomes “tat”, “back” becomes “bat”, “ticket” becomes “titet” etc.
Phonological Processes come in many forms
- A “typical” error follows the expected patterns of learning to speak – not all children will make these errors, but if they do, it’s developmentally appropriate until a certain age (each error has its own age for remediation – consult a speech pathologist for specifics)
- “Typical” phonological processes do not require intervention unless the child continues to produce them past the age of developmental appropriateness (or if it is significantly impacting their capacity to be understood!).
- An “atypical” error does not following the developmental trajectory; if a child makes these errors at any stage, they are considered a red flag for speech development.
- If the child has not “grown out of” these errors by the expected age, they can hang around for life! It might be cute now when your little one says things like “I wuv da puddy tat!”, but think of how this would sound from someone at age 12, 20, or 50!
- The more of these patterns a child uses, the more difficult they are to understand – when children are difficult to understand, this limits their access to their world! They might have difficulty expressing their wants, needs and feelings, as well as difficulty socialising.
- Can lead to difficulties with learning to spell and write.
Want to read more?
Bowen, C. (2011). What is the difference between an articulation disorder and a phonological disorder? Retrieved from http://www.speech-language-therapy.com/
Bernthal, Bankson & Flipsen (2016). Articulation and Phonological Disorders: Speech sound disorders in children. 8th Edition.