Developmental Phonological Disorder

Phonology in children: Phonologic orientation stresses the linguistic aspect of speech production. Phonological approaches concentrate on the rule- based errors that affect multiple speech sounds that follow a predictable pattern. The phonological system governs the ways in which sounds are combined to form words. Children with phonologically based errors demonstrate difficulty in applying in applying sound system rules, not necessarily in the production of speech sounds.


Children typically demonstrate phonological processes between the ages of 1 ½ and 4 years of age. They typically use phonological processes to simplify an adult form of speech. For example they use the phonological processes to omit weakly stressed syllables in multisyllabic words (e.g.. ephant/ elephant). Reduce consonant clusters (e.g.. bue/ blue). Children who persist in these processes beyond the age of 4 are frequently referred to a speech- language therapist because their speech is now perceived as difficult to understand.

The Development Of Speech Sounds

Children generally tend to develop their sounds in the same progressions.  Below you will be able to see the basic consonants children should be saying at particular ages.

  • From birth to the age of 3: your child should be able to pronounce the easy consonant sounds. These are knowns as; b, p, m, h, w, n, f
  • Aged 4: at four, your child should be able to produce the following sounds; d, t, k, g, y, ng
  • Aged 6: more difficult sounds should be mastered during this time. These sounds include; l, v, sh, ch, j
  • Between 8 – 9: now your child should have mastered all sounds. During these years, the final consonants to be developed are; r, s, z, th (as in thin), TH (as in that)

The Causes Of Developmental Phonological Disorders

A developmental phonological disorder has no one know certain cause. However, there are a few things that have been suspected to result in a developmental phonological disorder. These are:

  • the environment in which the child lives
  • slight brain abnormalities
  • immature development of the neurological system

Get Treatment For Developmental Phonological Disorders Now

If you or your child needs help treating a phonological disorder, please do not hesitate to contact the Speech Bubble team. We will help you from diagnoses through to continued treatment and help your child’s development how we can.