Phonological Processing Disorder

What is a Phonological Processing Disorder?

A Phonological Processing Disorder refers to a child’s difficulty understanding the speech sound rules governing our language. In other words, some sounds are produced in the front of our mouth (i.e. /t/, /d/) while others are produced in the back of our mouth (i.e. /k/, /g/). There are some sounds in our language that require continuous airflow (i.e. /sh/, /s/) and other sounds that require the airflow to only continue briefly (i.e. /t/, /k/). As children are developing speech, phonological processes are normal because they’re still learning how to move their articulators (tongue, teeth, lips, jaw, vocal cords) in order to produce desired sounds. As children continue developing, those phonological processes will eventually fade. For some children, these speech sound patterns exist beyond the typical age of development. The more phonological processes a child is using the more difficult their speech intelligibility will be.

The first step is knowing when phonological processes should begin fading as your child’s speech develops. Below you will find a link to Caroline Bowen’s Phonological Processes’ Chart. I have this chart laminated and I keep it in my work bag. I frequently reference this chart with all my phonological processing disorder cases.

Elimination of Phonological Processes

If you’re concerned about your child’s speech development, The Speech & Career Center would love to answer any questions you may have regarding your child’s speech or the chart provided for you to view. Click on the contact section where you will find our phone number and email. We also offer FREE speech and language screenings. We’d be happy to come to your home for your convenience or meet you in a community setting such as a local library.

Communication is KEY!

– The Speech & Career Center


Bowen, C. (2011). Table 3: Elimination of Phonological Processes. Retrieved from on 7/17/2017.

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