An articulation disorder occurs when sounds are being produced incorrectly. A phonological disorder occurs when sounds are consistently being replaced by another sound or deleted entirely from a word.  

What causes Articulation/Phonological Disorders? 

Articulation and phonological errors often occur in children’s language as a typical process of learning a language. When these errors occur longer than is expected, it is labeled as a delay or disorder. Speech delays/disorders may occur for a variety of reasons: family history, hearing loss, head injuries, developmental and/or genetic disorders.  

What are the symptoms of Articulation/Phonological Disorders? 

Examples of articulation disorders include: 

  • Difficulty pronouncing the “R” sound 
  • Lisped or “slushy” sounding “S” sound 
  • Sounds that appear to sound “nasal” or are produced with extra air coming from the nose 

Examples of phonological disorders include: 

  • Substituting “W” for “L” (e.g., “wion” instead of “lion”)  
  • Substituting “T” for “K/C” (e.g., “tup” instead of “cup”) 
  • Leaving off the last sounds in words (e.g., “pi-“ for “pig”) 

When is speech therapy recommended for Articulation/Phonological Disorder? 

There are many different types of articulation and phonological errors. If your child presents with speech errors, a speech-language pathologist can conduct an evaluation to determine whether the errors are age-appropriate or not. If your child’s speech is difficult to understand, speech therapy is recommended to help them communicate effectively. 

What does therapy for Articulation/Phonological Disorders involve? 

Therapy for articulation and phonological disorders helps kids learn the right way to say sounds or words. This can start at the basic sound level, then focuses on learning to use the sounds appropriately in words and sentences. Speech-language pathologists will help your child learn to hear if they are saying the sound right or wrong. Your therapist will also provide you with activities for you and your child to practice at home.