Phonological Process Disorders

Also known as: speech sound disorders, developmental phonological disorder, speech disorder-phonological.

What are phonological process disorders?

A phonological process disorder is a form of speech disorder in which there is difficulty organizing the patterns of sounds in the brain which results in an inability to correctly form the sounds of words.  For example, this results in a child who may delete one or more sounds at the beginning of words (like “at” instead of “sat”) or only use one consonant in a word with a two-consonant sounds (“peak” instead of “speak”), or they may replace one letter sound with another. 

What causes phonological process disorders? 

More common in boys, causes are mostly unknown. A family history of speech and language disorders, hearing loss, developmental delays, genetic diseases and neurological disorders all appear to be risk factors for phonological process disorders. 

What are the symptoms of phonological process disorders? 

The main symptom that differentiates a phonological process disorder from other speech disorders is the identifiable pattern of mistakes, usually involving one sound or a grouping of sounds that the mistake is always made on.

What are phonological process disorders care options? 

Sessions with a speech-language pathologist are the typical treatment for phonological process disorders.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/21/2019 2:23:03 AM

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