Articulation / Phonology

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Articulation disorder

Difficulties with the motor production aspects of speech. An inability to produce certain speech sounds.
Example: A child cannot say the /k/ sound in any part of the word. They will say tar for car, rotet for rocket and bat for back.

Phonological disorder

Sound errors within the context of spoken language.
Example: A child cannot say a specific sound in certain context. They can say the /k/ in ‘cat’, but they cannot say the /k/ in ‘snack’ due to where it is in the word. Another example would be if a child deletes all final consonants. It is not that the child cannot say the specific sounds at the end of the words, but it is where the sound occurs in the word that makes it difficult for the child. A child may have no problem saying the /t/, but consistently omits it in all words that end in /t/.

Articulation Disorders versus Phonological Disorders

Articulation Disorders Phonological Disorders
Problems in the production of the sound Problems in the language specific function of the sound
Motor disturbances Higher level disturbance (more language based)
Not related to other areas of languagedevelopment May involve other language areas
Errors consistent with a specific sound Errors related to where specific sounds are in words.

Child with an articulation disorder: “The tat is walting by the late.” (The cat is walking by the lake) Error: /k/ in all positions of the word.

Child with phonological disorder: “The ta_ is walking by the la_.” (The cat is walking by the lake) Error: /k/ in the initial position as well as final consonant deletion. As you can see, the child can say both the /k/ and the /t/ in one situation and not in another. This means that there is not an overall inability to say the sound, but instead an inability due to the placement of the sound within the word.

Approximate age of mastery of sounds

Age Sound
1 1/2 All vowels
2 H, B, P, N, M
2 1/2 W
3 K, G, D, T, F
4 Y, ING
5 J, SH, V, L, CH, S, Z
6 and older L-Blends, R-blends, TH, S-blends

Approximate age that phonological processes should be gone from a child’s speech

Process Example Age it should be gone
Final consonant deletion Ca__ for Cat and Do__ for Dog 3-3
Fronting tar for car and do for go 3-6
Weak syllable deletion Efant for elephant and tat for potato 4-0
Cluster reduction Poon for spoon, tain for train and cean for clean 4-0
Stopping Taking a long sound such as f,s,v,z,sh,j,ch, th and making it short like t,d,b,p This is dependent on the sound being stopped:
/f/ and /s/= 3-0
/v/ and /z/= 3-6
/sh/, /j/ and /ch/= 4-6
/th/= 5-0
Gliding One for run, weg for leg, wain for rain 5-0