Many children have a lot to communicate however their speech is very difficult to understand. Parents often say, “My child is so frustrated, we are so frustrated, we just can’t understand him.” Or “ I am always translating what my child is saying to others”.
Phonological processes are patterns of sound errors that typically developing children use to simplify speech as they are learning to talk. For example, they may reduce consonant clusters to a single consonant like, “poon” for “spoon” A child may be diagnosed with a phonological process disorder when he has groups or patterns of sounds errors (as opposed to isolated sound errors) that are not developmentally age appropriate. This greatly affects intelligibility, making the child very difficult to understand.
There is a well known and evidence based approach used by speech pathologists to help children with phonological process disorders called the Cycle’s Approach. It is a unique and highly effective program for children with unintelligible speech. This therapeutic approach helps children remediate their sound patterns and carryover what they have learnt in day to day speech much quicker than a typical articulation treatment approach.