What are articulation and phonological disorders?

Articulation and phonological disorders are difficulties producing speech sounds or groups of speech sounds that persist beyond the typical period of speech development and/or result in difficulty understanding speech.
Articulation disorders usually include one or two speech sound errors such as:

  • lisps and ‘s’ and ‘z’ distortions
  • substitution for ‘r’ and ‘er’
  • substitutions for ‘th,’ ‘I,’ ‘sh,’ ‘ch’

Phonological disorders include multiple sound errors that typically cause problems with the intelligibility of the child’s speech and can include the following:

  • deleting final consonants from a word
  • deleting consonants from a blend of two or three consonants (blow for bow)
  • replacing “continuing” (f,s) with “stop” sounds (p,t)
  • replacing “back” (k,g) with “front” sounds (t,d)

How can UCF help?

The Communication Disorders Clinic offers services designed to assist persons with articulation and phonological disorders. First, the individual will need an evaluation of speech.

What is the evaluation procedure?

Comprehensive evaluations will be conducted to determine what aspects of communication have been affected. For details, see Initial Evaluation.

What type of treatment do we provide?

Therapeutic programs are uniquely developed to help the child in his/her speech intelligibility. Therapy includes evidence-based approaches shown to change the speech sound production of preschool and school-age children. Therapy for these disorders may include:

  • discrimination training
  • traditional speech sounds production training
  • auditory bombardment of target sounds in context
  • cycles training
  • minimal-pair training

A more intensive intervention program is sometimes needed to correct misarticulated sounds. The Communication Disorders Clinic is designed to provide more intensive and individualized treatment options. Frequency of therapeutic services range from once a week to multiple sessions a week.

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Steven – A client with developmental disorders uses his communication skills in the community with success.

Steven – “I order a hamburger, french fries, fruit and two waters.”

Hear from clients and their families


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Speech Sound Disorders

The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne: Articulation and Phonological Disorders

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