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Does your child say “top” instead of “stop” or “bock” instead of “block”? Maybe you notice that your child says “nana” instead of banana or “puter” instead of “computer”? Your child may be demonstrating phonological processes, which are patterns that young children use to simplify adult speech. Many children use these processes while their speech and language are developing.

Below is a list of different types of phonological processes. They are broken down into the following three areas: syllable structure, substitution, and assimilation. If you hear these sound patterns beyond the age at which they should have resolved (listed below) we recommend reaching out for a free phone consultation or speech evaluation. Complete our therapist match survey and we’ll match your child with a speech pathologists that specializes in treating phonological processing disorders. 

Syllable Structure: Sound changes that cause sounds or syllables to be reduced, omitted, or repeated

Cluster Reduction is the deletion of one or more consonants from a two or three consonant cluster (e.g. “poon” for “spoon”, “tuck” for “truck”). Should resolve by the time a child is 4 without /S/ and by age 5 with /S/.

Final Consonant Deletion is the deletion of a final consonant sound in a word (e.g. “cuh” for “cup”, “dah” for “dog”). Expect this sounds pattern to resolve by the age of 3

Initial Consonant Deletion is the deletion of the initial consonant sound in a word (e.g. “up” for “cup”, “un” for “sun”). If your child is using this phonological process, we recommend speech therapy regardless of their age as this is an unusual pattern that typically indicates the presence of a significant phonological delay. 

Weak Syllable Deletion is the deletion of a weak syllable in a word (e.g. “nana” for “banana”, “puter” for “computer”). This process resolves by the age of 4

Substitution: Sound changes in which one sound class replaces another sound class

Backing is the substitution of a sound produced in front of the mouth with a sound produced in the back of the mouth (e.g. “gog” for “dog”). If your child is backing his or her sounds, we recommend speech therapy regardless of their age as this pattern is typically seen in children that require speech and language intervention to resolve a significant phonological delay. 

Fronting is the substitution of a sound produced in the back of the mouth with a sound produced in the front of the mouth (e.g. “tey” for “key”). This pattern resolves by 3.5 years of age

&•Gliding is the substitution of a glide (w, y) sound for a liquid (l, r) sound (e.g. “yike” for “like”, “wug“ for “rug”). Gliding resolves by the age of 6

Stopping is the substitution of a stop (b, p, t, d, k, g) sound for a fricative (f, v, s, z, h, th, sh, zh) or affricate (ch, j) sound (e.g. “toap” for “soap”, “tair” for “chair”). Your child should no longer stop their sounds after the age of 3 for /F/ & /S/, age 3.5 for /V/ & /Z/, age 4.5 for /CH/, /SH/ & /J/ and age 5 for /TH/

Vowelization is the substitution of a vowel sound for a liquid (l, r) sound (e.g. “bay-uh” for “bear”). Vowelization typically resolves by the age of 6

Affrication is the substitution of an affricate (ch, j) sound for an nonaffricate sound (e.g. “choe” for “shoe”). We should no longer hear this process after the age of 3

Deaffrication is the substitution of a nonaffricate sound for an affricate (ch, j) sound (e.g. “ship” for “chip”). Expect this process to be gone by the age of 4

Alveolarization is the substitution of an alveolar sound for a nonalveolar sound (e.g. “tum” for “thumb”). Alveolarization resolves by age 5

Depalatalization is the substitution of a nonpalatal sound for a palatal sound (e.g. “fit” for “fish”). This pattern should be gone by the age of 5

Labialization is the substitution of a labial sound for a nonlabial sound (e.g. “mouf” for “mouth). Should resolve by age 6

Assimilation: Sound changes in which one sound will start to sound like another, surrounding sound

Assimilation is when a consonant sound starts to sound like another sound in the word (e.g. “bub” for “bus”). Children no longer use this process after the age of 3

•Denasalization is when a nasal consonant like “m” or “n” changes to a nonnasal consonant like “b” or “d” (e.g. “dore” for “more”). No longer present after the age of 2.5

•Final Consonant Devoicing is when a voiced consonant (e.g. b, d) at the end of a word is substituted with a voiceless consonant (e.g. p, t) (e.g. “tup” for “tub”). Gone by age 3

•Prevocalic Voicing is when a voiceless consonant (e.g. k, f) in the beginning of a word is substituted with a voiced consonant (e.g. g, v) (e.g. “gup” for “cup”). This pattern often sticks around until age 6

•Coalescence is when two phonemes are substituted with a different phoneme that still has similar features (e.g. “foon” for “spoon”). Coalescence should resolve by the time a child is 6 years old

•Reduplication is when a complete or incomplete syllable is repeated (e.g. “baba” for “bottle”). No longer present by the age of 3

 

Wondering if your child’s speech sound errors indicates a need for a speech evaluation? We’re happy to discuss your child’s specific speech sound errors. Click here to schedule a free phone consultation or click the button below and complete a short questionnaire about your child. 

 

COVID-19 Protocol

We hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe and healthy! We have outlined our protocols for in-person sessions during COVID-19. As you know, the health and safety of our clients and therapists remain our highest priority. As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together through these unprecedented times.


Hand Washing:
Upon arrival at your home, your therapist will wash their hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer. We ask that you and your child also wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon your therapist’s arrival.
 
Facemasks:
We are asking our therapists to wear masks upon entering your home and throughout your child’s session. That said, we understand that some children have adverse reactions to seeing adults in masks and will leave it up to you and your therapist to decide your comfort level while still taking safety precautions.
 
We ask that parents and caregivers also follow the guidelines and wear masks when sitting in on sessions. We will not enforce that policy, but we do kindly ask for compliance.
 
As for your child, we realize that masks may not be appropriate for every child so we will not enforce the rule that children over the age of 2 should wear a mask.  However, if your therapist insists that your child wear a mask, then that will be a requirement directly between the two of you. We respect our therapists’ individual comfort levels with safety precautions and ask that you respect them as well.

 

Protocol Acknowledgment and Health Certification:

Before your child’s first in-person session, we are asking clients to submit an acknowledgment of these protocols and a health certification, which you can find here. Thank you again for your cooperation and for helping all of us stay healthy!