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Articulation and Phonology

Speech is composed of articulation/phonological skills, speech fluency and voice. SLPs examine how a child physically produces sounds and sound patterns, the rate at which s/he is able to speak and how the voice sounds for his/her age and sex.


Articulation Disorders

If your child has trouble producing some speech sounds, s/he may have an articulation disorder. 


These circles contain the speech sounds a child should be able to produce at certain ages. 

3 years - /p/  /b/  /m/  /n/  /h/  /w/

4 years - /k/  /g/  /t/  /d/  /f/

5 years - /s/  "y"

6 years - /v/  /l/  

7 years - "ch"  "sh"  "th"  "j"  /z/ 

8 years - /r/

Click here to access All About Artic: The Basics of Speech Sound Production in Children


Phonological Disorders

Phonological processes are the speech patterns all young children use to simplify the production of the adult speech they hear. Phonological processes are rules that children apply to a whole class of sounds instead of just one or two mispronunciations. For example, a child may leave off all final consonant sounds and say "ma" for "mat" or "pi" for "pig." 

Most children develop out of these patterns as they learn and are able to produce more speech sounds, but some children hang on to the habit. If your child is very difficult to understand, s/he may have more than one phonological process at play. 

Phonological Processes:

  • Syllable Structure
    • Final consonant deletion
    • Cluster Reduction
    • Syllable Reduction 
  • Substitution
    • Gliding
    • Vocalizaiotn
    • Fronting
    • Deaffrication
    • Stopping
  • Assimilation
    • Prevocalic Voicing
    • Postvocalic Voicing 

Click here to download a handout that details the phonological processes with examples. 


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