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SLP Corner: What are Phonological Processes?

by Heidi Hanks – M.S.CCC-SLP

We’ve talked a lot about helping kids with articulation disorders here on Mommy Speech Therapy. I’ve shared my Articulation Screener to help you identify the sounds kids are saying in error as well as an Articulation Goal Tracker to help select the sounds that need to be targeted and keep track of progress. But what if your child has so many sound errors you don’t know where to start, or they are so difficult to understand you don’t know how to help them? If this is the case they may have more than an articulation delay, they may have a phonological disorder characterized by the presence of phonological processes beyond what would be expected.

What are Phonological Processes?
Phonological processes are patterns of sound errors that typically developing children use to simplify speech as they are learning to talk. They do this because they don’t have the ability to coordinate the lips, tongue, teeth, palate and jaw for clear speech. As a result they simplify complex words in predictable ways until they develop the coordination required to articulate clearly. For example, they may reduce consonant clusters to a single consonant like, “pane” for “plane” or delete the weak syllable in a word saying, “nana” for “banana.” There are many different patterns of simplifications or phonological processes.

Read the Rest of this Article on Mommy Speech Therapy

About the Author:  Heidi Hanks, M.S.CCC-SLP is a private practice SLP in Utah. In 2007, she started writing her blog, Mommy Speech Therapy, where she offers parents helpful suggestions on how they can help their kids improve their language at home. She is also the founder of Little Bee Speech Apps.


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