A Little About Me and This Blog

I have been a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) since 1987. I am a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association. I have worked in the states of New York, Hawaii and Florida. I am currently in New York State. I have worked in settings that include public schools, special education preschools, hospitals, adult day treatment programs, home health rehabilitation, early intervention and preschool homebased therapy. I have provided evaluation and therapy to people ranging in age from 6 months to 100 years. I have worked with a wide range of conditions and treatments including fluency, aphasia, apraxia, voice disorders, dysphagia, cleft palate, hearing impairment, articulation delay, language delay, augmentative/alternative communication, autism, and many others through the years.
The purpose of this Blog is to share information and answer questions that you may have. I will strive to provide the correct information to the best of my professional knowledge. I may not share the same professional opinion as other licensed speech pathologists and I encourage second opinions if you want to be as informed as possible.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Phonological Processing Delay vs. Articulation Delay

 Many children have difficulty producing sounds correctly. This is referred to as an Articulation delay or even sometimes as a Phonological delay.  In previous posts I have discussed speech sound development and given some information about delayed speech production skills.  Today I will discuss the difference between an articulation delay and a phonological processing delay.  There is great information on the ASHA Website on this topic as well.

An Articulation or a Phonological delay is a delay in the ability to produce sounds correctly.  Children may be late to speak in general or not master sounds at the times that other children do.  These sounds are usually substitutions of an easier sound for a more difficult sound.  An example is a child saying a /f/ for a /th/ in the word "bath."

A Phonological Processing delay is a sub-group of Articulation Delays where children have difficulty with a pattern(Process) of speech sound productions.  Children all use phonological processes in their developing speech.  A child's speech becomes phonologically delayed  when they continue to use these normal processes past the typical age of use. I will  give you one example of a typical phonological process.
The one phonological process that I work with most often is called Final Consonant Deletion also called Deletion of Final Consonants.  This is very common as children learn speech. It is a normal pattern.  They will say "da" before they say "dad" they will say "kuh" before they say "cup."  As children approach age 3 to 3 1/2, they have generally stopped using this process.  They will now use final consonants on a regular basis. If children are still using these processes past the general age of elimination, they may need to address it directly in therapy. 

   Once in a while a child will use a phonological process (pattern) that is not typical. This is identified as a phonological disorder rather than just a delay. I currently have one child using Deletion of Initial Consonants.  This is not a typical pattern, it is challenging to address, but I am seeing progress.  He is able to produce all age appropriate sounds in isolation and at the end of single syllables. Our therapy has focused on encouraging initial consonant production by taking him through the sounds developmentally.  Since /m, b, p, d/ are typically early mastered sounds and since he could produce them well in the final position, we started encouraging production of these sounds before a vowel such as "ba," "be," "boo."  Once he mastered this, we added a final consonant to see if he could maintain the ability to produce it in the initial position.  He is showing progress with this method and now has some spontaneous words that begin with /m, b, and d/.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Brenda, Please update your links. Thank you, Caroline