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phonological processes

Phonological Process: Cluster Reduction

Boy Cluster reductionPhonological Process: Cluster Reduction

 

Phonological processes are patterns of speech errors.  Children use these processes when trying to produce adult-like speech.  These errors affect entire groups or classes of sounds. Most children demonstrate some phonological processes when acquiring language.  While these error patterns are typical and at times very cute, if they persist past a certain age they become atypical.  Cluster reduction is one of the more common phonological process.

What is cluster reduction: 

Cluster reduction is a syllable structure process. It occurs when a child reduces a consonant cluster to a single consonant. A consonant cluster is when there are 2-3 consonants next to one another in a word (“sp” in space). With the word “space”, a child using cluster reduction might say this as “pace”. Cluster reduction can occur in any word position. Medial position: lipstick becomes “liptick”.  Final position: old becomes “ol”. While cluster reduction is a common speech error, its effects can reduce a child’s speech intelligibility. As the frequency with which a child uses cluster reduction increases, his speech intelligibility decreases.

Should I be concerned if my child is using the process of cluster reduction?

Like many phonological processes, cluster reduction is common. It is present in many young children’s speech.  Usually as a child’s speech and language skills become more mature, this process corrects itself.  In typical development, cluster reduction is often eliminated by 3½ years of age. If your child continues to demonstrate cluster reduction beyond 3½ years, it is recommended that you contact a speech-language pathologist.

If you have concerns with your child’s speech and language skills please contact Samantha at Chicago Speech and More by calling (847) 774-0582 or using the contact us form on the website.

Phonological Process: Final Consonant Deletion

Phonological Process: Final Consonant DeletionPhonological Process: Final Consonant Deletion

 

Phonological processes are patterns of speech errors.  These processes are used by children when attempting to produce adult-like speech.  These errors affect entire groups or classes of sounds. Most children demonstrate some of these processes when acquiring language.  While these error patterns are common and at times typical, if they persist past a certain age they become atypical.  Final consonant deletion is a common phonological process.

What is final consonant deletion: 

Final consonant deletion (FCD) is a syllable structure process. It occurs when children leave off the final consonant in a word sound (consonant) in a word. A child might say “co” instead of “coat” or “bea” instead of “beat”.  While final consonant deletion is a common speech error, its effects can reduce a child’s speech intelligibility or how well we understand them.

Should I be concerned if my child is using the process of final consonant deletion?

As with many phonological processes, final consonant deletion is common and is present in many young children’s speech.  Usually this process corrects itself as the child’s speech and language skills become more mature.  In typical development, final consonant deletion is typically eliminated by 3 years of age. After 3 years, your child might leave off the final consonant in a word occasionally, although most of their word endings should sound like the adult version.

If your child continues to demonstrate the phonological process of final consonant deletion beyond 3 years, it is highly recommended that you contact a speech-language pathologist.

If you have concerns with your child’s speech and language skills please contact Samantha at Chicago Speech and More by calling (847) 774-0582 or using the contact us form on the website.

Phonological Process: Stopping

phonological process stoppingPhonological Process: Stopping

 

Phonological processes are patterns of errors used by children when attempting to produce adult-like speech.  Most children demonstrate some of these processes when acquiring language.  While these error patterns are common and often times typical, if they persist past a certain age they become atypical.  Stopping is a common phonological process.

What is backing: 

Stopping, a type of substitution error, occurs when children substitute a stop consonant such as “t, d, p, b, k” or “g” for fricative or affricate sounds “s, z, sh, f, v, j, ch” or “th”.  A child might say “tun” instead of “sun” or “dump” instead of “jump”.  While stopping is a common speech error, its effects tend to drastically reduce a child’s speech intelligibility.  Some children demonstrate stopping on only one or two consonants while others use the phonological process across many or all fricative and affricate sounds.

A student I worked with came in on a Monday and was very excited to tell me about what he had done over the weekend.  As an extreme “stopper”, he didn’t often volunteer to speak in class or with his peers so it was great that he felt comfortable in the speech room. He told me that he had gone “diting” and it was really “dun”.  After repeating himself over ten times, his speech pathologist (me) finally realized that he had been on a fun fishing trip!

Should I be concerned if my child is stopping?

As with most phonological processes, stopping is very common and is present in many young children’s speech.  Usually this process corrects itself as the child’s speech and language skills become more mature.  In typical development stopping is typically eliminated between 3-5 years of age depending on which sounds are being substituted.

Stopping Example Gone by approximately
Stopping of /f/ “tun”/fun or 3;0
Stopping of /s/ “dip”/sip 3;0
Stopping of /z/ “dipper”/zipper 3;6
Stopping of /v/ “bacum”/vacuum 3;6
Stopping of “sh” “dip”/ship 4;6
Stopping of “j” “dim”/gym 4;6
Stopping of “ch” “tew”/chew 4;6
Stopping of “th” “tum”/thumb 5;0

The chart above is meant to be a guide to assist in determining if your child’s stopping pattern is age appropriate or not. If your child is continuing to demonstrate the phonological process of stopping beyond the specified ages it is highly recommended that you contact a speech-language pathologist.

If you have concerns with your child’s speech and language skills please contact Samantha at Chicago Speech and More by calling (847) 774-0582 or using the contact us form on the website.

 

Phonological Process: Backing

Phonological Process: Backing

 

Phonological processes akids phonological process backingre patterns of errors used by children when attempting to produce adult-like speech.  Most children demonstrate some of these processes when acquiring language.  While these error patterns are common and often times typical, if they persist past a certain age they become atypical.  Backing is a common phonological process.

What is backing: 

Backing, a type of substitution error, occurs when children substitute a sound that should be made towards the front of a mouth with a sound that is produce further back in the mouth. For example, a child attempting to produce “tar” might say “car” instead.  Backing is common and can occur with many sounds.  Some additional examples are when a child says “can”/(tan), “goo”/(do), “bye”/(guy), “shoe”/(sue).

Should I be concerned if my child is backing?

As with most phonological processes, backing is very common and is present in many young children’s speech.  Usually this process corrects itself as the child’s speech and language skills become more mature.  Backing is typically eliminated between 3-4 years of age. If your child is continuing to demonstrate the phonological process of backing beyond the age of 4, it is recommended that you contact a speech-language pathologist.

If you have concerns with your child’s speech and language skills please contact Samantha at Chicago Speech and More by calling (847) 774-0582 or using the contact us form on the website.

Phonological Process: Fronting

Phonological Process: Fronting

tea-phonological process fronting honological process fronting

Phonological processes are patterns of errors used by children when attempting to produce adult-like speech.  Most children demonstrate some of these processes when acquiring language.  While these error patterns are common and often times typical, if they persist past a certain age they become atypical.  Fronting is a very common phonological process.

What is fronting: 

Fronting occurs when children substitute sounds made in the back of the mouth with those produced in the front of the mouth (e.g., saying “tan” for “can” or “dot” for “got”).

There are two main types of fronting: velar fronting and palatal fronting.

Velar Fronting:

Velar fronting occurs when children substitute the /k/ and /g/ sounds (produced when the tongue contacts the velum, or soft palate at the back of the throat) with sounds that are made with the front of the mouth, most often the /t/ and /d/ sounds. An example would be a child saying “tea” for “key” or “dame” for “game.”

My favorite fronting story occurred while working with a 6 year old boy who was still demonstrating the phonological process. After several sessions, he correctly said the word “key” all by himself. I started cheering and he looked at me with the biggest smile possible and said “tan you believe I just said that?” 

Palatal Fronting:

Palatal fronting is when children substitute a palatal sound “sh”, “zh”, “ch” and/or “j” (sounds produced towards the back of the roof of the mouth) with sounds that are made more anteriorly.  An example of this process would be a child saying “sue” for “shoe” or “sip” for “chip”.

As with most phonological processes, fronting is common and is present in many young children’s speech.  Usually this process corrects itself as the child’s speech and language skills become more mature.  Fronting is typically eliminated when a child reaches three years and six months (3;6). If your child is continuing to demonstrate the phonological process of fronting beyond the age of 4, it is recommended that you contact a speech-language pathologist.

If you have concerns with your child’s speech and language skills please contact Samantha at Chicago Speech and More by calling (847) 774-0582 or using the contact us form on the website.

Speech Sound Disorders: Articulation Disorder vs. Phonological Process Disorder

girl on phone-speech sound disordersIs your child having trouble producing one or more sounds? If so, they may have a speech sound disorder.  While all children make mistakes when saying new sounds and words, a speech sound disorder (SSD) occurs when mistakes continue past a certain age.  There are two main types of speech sound disorders: articulation disorders (difficulty making sounds) and phonological process disorders (difficulty with sound patterns).

Articulation Disorders

An articulation disorder is due to problems making certain sounds. These disorders are usually characterized by substitution, distortion, omission or addition of sounds in words. Children with articulation disorders have difficulty learning the way to physically produce certain sounds even though all of their “articulators” are working correctly. For example, many children that I work with have trouble saying the “r” sound and will often say “wabbit” instead of rabbit.  Another common articulation problem I see in children is when they distort the “s” sound (sometimes referred to as a frontal or lateral lisp).

If your child is having trouble with one or more speech sounds please refer to the chart below to determine if this is a sound they should have acquired by their age.  If the sound disorder is persisting past the expected age of mastery, it is recommended that you seek assistance from a speech-language pathologist.

Speech and Articulation Development Chart

Phonological Process Disorder

A phonological process disorder consists of patterns of sound errors. Children with phonological process disorders have difficulty learning the sound system.  There are many phonological processes (more blogs to come with descriptions and examples of various patterns) although some are more common than others.  One that I see quite frequently is “fronting”. Fronting occurs when children substitute sounds made in the back of the mouth like “k” and “g” with those made in the front of the mouth like “t” and “d” (e.g., saying “tan” for “kan” or “dot” for “got”).

My favorite fronting story occurred while working with a six-year-old boy who was still demonstrating the phonological process. After several sessions, he correctly said the word “key” all by himself. I started cheering and he looked at me with the biggest smile possible and said “tan you believe I just said that?”  

While it is common and even normal for young children to use some phonological processes, they may have a phonological disorder if these patterns persist past a certain age.  If you think your child might be using one or more phonological processes, please refer to the chart below to determine if this pattern should have been eliminated by their age. If the phonological process is persisting past the expected age of elimination, it is recommended that you seek assistance from a speech-language pathologist.

Elimination of Phonological Processes in Typical Development Chart

This is just a brief introduction into speech sound disorders.  If you suspect that your child is demonstrating articulation or phonological difficulties or both, please contact Samantha at Chicago Speech and More 847-774-0582.

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