Articulation & Phonological Disorders

Articulation and Phonological Disorders are speech production disorders. These involve mispronouncing of speech sounds. These can make one’s speech difficult to understand.
Impact on learning: Difficulty in this area may result in conversational partners having trouble to understand what the individual is saying. Children or adults may experience difficulty in participation in group conversational activities.

Children with Phonological disorders are at a very high risk for later reading and learning disabilities. They may present with difficulty in spelling or reading passages. They should be treated with intensive speech therapy as soon as they are diagnosed, as early as age 3.

Articulation Disorder

Articulation disorders are placement errors that occur during the production of speech sounds.


In children there may be number of causes of misarticulation, such as weak muscles, cleft lip/palate, oral structural anomalies in children with developmental disorders such as Cerebral Palsy or Down’s syndrome. Adults can also have articulation disorder; some continue to have problems from childhood while for others articulation can become impaired secondary to neurological damage such as stroke or head injury or secondary to oral cancer.


The symptoms of articulation disorder vary significantly depending on the age of the person; especially in children. Some of the symptoms can be:
  • Lisp
  • Slow, slurred speech
  • Distorted sounds
  • Weak articulation of 'r'
  • Difficulty with blends
  • Increasing speech error as sentences become longer.

Phonological Disorder

Phonological disorder differs from articulation disorder because they affect a whole class or group of sounds. During development, when children are learning to talk; they sometimes simplify words by using various phonological processes. A phonological process disorder is diagnosed when the child persists to use these simplification processes even after the age when they should no longer be doing so.

fronting: - Child says, “tar” instead of “car” and “dod” instead of “dog”.

Evaluation and Treatment

Speech therapy is often warranted to correct speech production disorders. At Let's Talk Speech Therapy, Ms. Kothari provides a comprehensive evaluation of speech sound development and sound production skills. Standardized tests are often used to assess the individual's speech. Based on the results of the evaluation, Ms. Kothari will develop a comprehensive treatment plan to correct articulation and phonological errors. Wide variety of techniques and approaches are used to correct sound production errors. One of the approaches commonly used is P.R.O.M.P.T. P.R.O.M.P.T involves using touch cues on the articulators to increase the sound production accuracy. It also helps to facilitate sequencing of motor movements required for speech.