What is Phonological Disorder?
A Phonological Disorder is a child’s persistent use of error patterns that extends beyond the time-frame expected for typical development. Most children use error patterns in early childhood while they develop the sound system specific to their language or languages, but these errors are expected to fade. Examples of phonological processes include cluster reduction (i.e., “poon” for “spoon”), final consonant deletion (i.e., “be” for “bed”), and gliding (i.e., “wed” for “red”).
Phonological Disorders are assessed using standardized tests, conversation samples, observation, and parent / caregiver interview.
Treatment goals are developed to correct these error patterns based on what is expected for the child’s age and development. Treatment for a Phonological Disorder may be offered in blocks (e.g., eight weeks of therapy with an eight week break to follow). Blocked therapy allows the child to receive intensive therapy that is then followed up by parents guiding practice at home. The length of treatment depends on the number of phonological errors present and the child’s response to intervention.
Links for more information:
American Speech and Hearing Association: www.asha.org