The term phonological disorders refers to a child’s difficulty understanding the sound system and speech rules of our language that other children seem to acquire naturally.
After a diagnosis and before beginning therapy, the SLP analyzes the way the child is putting his/her words together. The SLP will look at the pattern of speech errors and determine…
- Is the child leaving off the first or last sound in a word?
- Does the child have difficulty producing sounds made at the back of the mouth (k/g)? • Does the child “stop” sounds that should normally continue (s, sh, f, Th)?
Does the child leave off one of the sounds in a consonant blend (truck/tuck, block/bock, and star/tar)? After the SLP identifies and analyzes the child’s error patterns, he/she can develop goals for the child and a treatment plan. A child with phonological disorders is more at risk for later developing problems when learning to read or spell and is potentially at risk for other learning disabilities. If the SLP diagnoses your child with a phonological problem, be prepared for the possibility of a long-term commitment to speech therapy. Considerable time may be spent on activities other than just trying to pronounce words correctly – which can be frustrating and confusing for parents.
Tools used by Speech Language Pathologists:
Tools commonly used in speech therapy include:
- Placement tools (correct tongue positioning for certain sounds)
- Oral sensory chews
- Tongue depressors
- Picture boards
- Dry erase boards
- Flip charts
- Sensory toys
- Formal tools & assessments
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