So what is a phonological processes disorder? It’s more than just an articulation (speech sound) disorder. When children have multiple sound errors, we look to see if their errors fall into certain patterns called phonological processes. For instance, if the child produces /t/ for all /k/ sounds and /d/ for all /g/ sounds, he may actually be demonstrating the phonological process, fronting. Children with phonological processes are often hard to understand if you aren’t familiar with their speech.
The following describes some common phonological processes.
Final Consonant Deletion – the final consonant sounds are omitted from words
(bed sounds like “beh”)
Consonant Cluster Reduction – one consonant in a consonant cluster is omitted
(stop sounds like “top”, blue sounds like “bue”)
Syllable Reduction – the weak syllable in a word is omitted
(banana sounds like “nana”, telephone sounds like “tephone”)
Gliding – glides (w, y) are substituted for liquids (l, r)
(run sounds like “wun”, leg sounds like “yeg”)
Fronting – front sounds (t, d) are substituted for back sounds (k, g)
(go sounds like “do”; key sounds like “tea”)
Stopping – stop sounds (p,b,t,d,k,g) are substituted for continuant sounds (m,n,s,z,sh,ch,f,v,th)
(sun sounds like “tun”, funny sounds like “punny”)
Prevocalic Voicing – voiced sounds (sounds that use your voice) are substituted for voiceless sounds
(pig sounds like “big”)
Postvocalic Devoicing – a voiceless consonant is substituted for a voiced consonant
(bed sounds like “bet”, bag sounds like “back”)
Like individual sounds, these processes should be corrected by certain ages. There is a more detailed chart for phonological process elimination here.
Gone by around 3 years old:
Final Consonant Deletion
Gone by around 4 years old:
Consonant Cluster Reduction
Gone by around 5 years old: