Phonological Disorder: How to Identify It

When we are very young, we start subconsciously remembering various sounds and words spoken by the people around us. Eventually, as we grow older, our minds remember enough to begin stringing together a few coherent phrases or sentences – this is how we learn to speak. 

However, a few children simply cannot pronounce or remember specific sounds that are needed for speaking. These kids are known to have a phonological disorder. 

In this article, we will be defining a phonological disorder and providing a detailed description as to what this condition entails. More so, we will mention a few of the most common symptoms that children with this disorder have. 

Definition of Phonological Disorder

As we have already mentioned, children are diagnosed with a phonological disorder when they fail to pronounce specific sounds needed for speaking. To be more precise, they fail to develop the ability to produce some/all sounds used by other children his/her age. 

Description of the Disorder

This type of disorder is often referred to as an articulation or speech sound production disorder. If there is no known cause for the speech delay, it is called a development phonological disorder. If the cause is known, scientists will use the word ‘dysarthria.’ 

There are various levels to this phonological disorder. For example, some children will simply not be able to pronounce any sounds, making their speech incoherent. However, other children can produce most sounds, leaving only a few words mispronounced. 

Children who have a phonological disorder must receive help as early as possible. Learning to speak is an integral part of child development. They may feel inferior if they cannot speak properly while their peers can. More so, many kids are bullied due to their speaking impediment, which can leave them embarrassed or self-conscious – these are never good emotions for a young child to feel. 

Phonological Disorder Symptoms

The symptoms that children with phonological disorders experience vary drastically. Generally, the child will begin learning sounds and words later than their peers. For example, if your kid is only starting to say simple sentences at the age of five, this may be a sign of a phonological disorder. 

Concluding Thoughts

A phonological disorder refers to the inability of a child to produce specific sounds or words. This disorder often leaves the child unable to speak as fluently as their peers, which can result in confidence issues. For this reason, you must take your child to a speech therapist if they struggle to remember words and sounds.

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