Speech Therapy

Phonological Impairment – Causes and Symptoms

Phonological impairment occurs in a child when he or she does not develop the ability to make specific or all sounds. These sounds are important for speech which is used normally by other children from the same age group. Read on to know more about causes and symptoms of phonological impairment.

Causes of Phonological Impairment
This disorder is most often segregated into 3 categories. This is based on the primary cause of the impairment.

  • One such cause is the structural problems. This is any abnormality in the areas required for speech sound production, like the roof of your mouth or your tongue. These problems make it difficult for the affected children to make specific sounds. Also, in some cases, the affected child finds it impossible to produce any sound.

    This structural problem leading to the phonological disorder should be first treated before the affected child ventures into speech or language therapy. The therapy is helpful as the correction of these structural problems can lead to the correction of speech sound problem.

  • The second category of phonological impairment is the disruptions caused by neurological abnormalities or problems. This part involves problems with the muscles of the child’s mouth which does not allow him or her sufficient motor control over his or her muscles to produce the speech sounds.
  • The phonological disorder’s third category includes unknown cause of the problem. This is referred as ‘developmental phonological disorder.” Even though the exact cause is unknown, there is speculation. A few of the possible causes include neurological system’s immature development and slight brain abnormalities.

Symptoms of Phonological Impairment
The symptoms of this disorder significantly differ depending on the child’s age. Most often, it is difficult to diagnose and detect the disorder, because the affected child develops speech sound very slowly when compared with his or her peers. Almost all children develop and produce speech sounds in the similar sequence.

When children develop speech sound skills normally, there are some common mistakes they tend to make. These mistakes include the substitution of one word with a different one, distortion of sounds and omission of sounds.

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