Phonological Processing

What is Phonological Processing Disorder?:

Phonology refers to the sound system of a language. Phonological processes refer to the rules children apply to their speech in order to simplify the adult form of words until they develop the ability to correctly articulate the given sounds. For example, using the word “wabbit” for “rabbit” or “wamp” for “lamp.” This process is referred to as “gliding” where children replace the /l/ and /r/ sounds with simpler sounds such as /w/ or ‘y’. Children may use these patterns of errors while their sound system and language develop. These errors are expected to fade from use as children’s sound system matures. In the cases that the errors continue, speech intervention may be required.

Assessment and Treatment:

Phonological processes are assessed using standardized tests, informal testing and observation, and parent/patient interview. Treatment begins with determining specific therapy goals based on information obtained during the evaluation. Due to the developmental nature of this disorder (most children outgrow the use of these processes), treatment is offered in blocks. This allows the child to receive intensive therapy for about 10 weeks*, followed by a break where the child and his/her parents continue to work on elimination of a delayed process at home. The length of treatment depends on the number of phonological processes present and the child’s response to intervention.
*More or less therapy may be recommended based on the individual needs of the patient and their rate of progress.

Links for more information:

American Speech and Hearing Association: