Phonology is the study of how speech sounds are organized in a language. As children are learning to talk, they may apply different patterns to simplify speech.  These patterns that children apply are referred to as phonological processes; many are considered normal and we expect youngsters to use at least some of them as they develop their speech. 

Problems arise when too many of these simplification patterns are present and/or when they hold on past the expected age range. In some cases, a child may not be producing an entire class of sounds in their speech which can result in speech that is very difficult for others to understand.

A few examples of phonological processes include:

· Consonant sequence reduction (e.g. “poon” for “spoon”; “boo” for “blue”)

· Final consonant deletion (e.g. “ha” for “hat”)

· Fronting (a back sound made in the front of the mouth, e.g. “tow” for “cow”)

· Syllable reduction (e.g. “boon” for “balloon”; “tevin” for “television”)

· Stopping (e.g. “taw” for “saw”; “pibe” for “five”)

Phonological disorders are more complex than articulation difficulties; articulation refers to the actual physical ability to produce the different speech sounds. The phonological disorder is a simplification of the sound system whereas the articulation disorder refers to problems making the sounds.

The speech-language pathologist conducts a detailed analysis of your child’s speech capabilities and develops a treatment approach specific to his/her profile. Remediation of phonological processes requires a different approach – addressing classes or categories of sounds, rather than correcting individual articulation errors. 

Related therapies to treat this condition:

Articulation Therapy

Articulation therapy is a form of intervention that focuses on the accurate production of speech sounds to improve speech clarity.

Find Out More

Communication Intermediary Services

Accessing police, legal, and justice services when you are experiencing a speech or language difficulty can be challenging and could have serious consequences if the individuals...

Find Out More

Oral Placement Therapy

OPT is a type of oral-motor therapy used to target specific movements needed for speech clarity and feeding. 

Find Out More


PROMPT is a technique used to assist with the planning and sequencing of speech sounds in words. 

Find Out More

The Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol (K-SLP)

K-SLP is an evidenced-based assessment and treatment approach for children with apraxia, speech sound disorders, and expressive language challenges. 

Find Out More