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Child Development Topics..

You are here : home > Child Development > Speech, Language, Hearing and Vision > Phonological Development in Children

Phonological Development in Children

Phonological development in children helps to understand the development of speech and language in them. Read on to know more about the process of phonological development.

Phonological development is the process of learning to speak and is associated with children. Phonological errors are simple sound errors that children make when they are learning to speak. This happens in order to simplify speech because they are learning to talk and so they do not have the ability to coordinate lips, tongue, palate, teeth and jaws for clear speech. This is the reason why they simplify complex words in conventional ways till the time they develop the coordination needed for clear articulacy.

At the beginning of language learning, sound plays an important role. Children have to learn different types of sounds and also learn to distinguish between them. Then they have to combine words and sounds to form sentences. Well, all this though seems simple and easy for us, it is pretty challenging for a small child.

Stages of Phonological Development

The first stage of phonological development can be called the pre-representational stage. This process begins when the child has already spent a long time listening to others and has collected her own interpretation of acoustic output.

The second stage is called the representational stage in which children do learn and speak clearly but find it difficult speaking a consonant against a consonant. They have just learned how to place the tongue and teeth to make proper sound production.

The third and the final stage of phonological development in children is target grammar. By this stage, children learn how to place tongue against the teeth properly and has also learned how to pronounce consonant against a consonant. This makes them make the apt sound to create words. Vocabulary starts building up and this is the stage when phonics and reading can be introduced.

What is Phonological Delay?

When a child continues to simplify her speech even after the normal time period of that stage has crossed, it is called phonological delay. Some children with serious phonological delay can be simplifying their speech in such a way that only a few different sounds come out of their mouth. These children tend to be hard to understand specially for the strangers. Parents get used to of the actions and behavior of the child and so they understand what the child wants to say.

Causes of Phonological Delay

Well, no specific cause has been found out till date that can define phonological delay in a child. Although children often use words incorrectly, it is advisable to make it a point that each phase of phonological development gets along successfully. There is no doubt that there will be problems in each stage, but if they are not treated or paid attention at immediately, they will create further problems later.

Although it is not apparently clear whether the cause depends on what parents are doing or not doing with the child, it has been observed that parents who spend quality time with their children help them with proper phonological development as well.

Signs of Children with Phonological Delay

Here are some signs that can look out for.
  • Your child omits the first letter of most of the words when speaking.

  • Your child is omitting the last word of most words.

  • Your child is finding difficulty in pronouncing different vowel sounds.

  • Your child is replacing back sounds for the ones that come from the front of mouth.

  • Your child speaks unclearly even after her third birthday and others do not understand what your child is speaking.
If you find any of these signs, the best way to find the right answer is to make a visit to the speech-language pathologist. This will help you make sure whether the phonological development in your child is apt or not.

Why do children have phonological delay? How can parents help deal with phonological delay in children? When do parents need to consult a speech language pathologist? Discuss here.

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Malti.1 year ago
We must encourage phonological development in children by talking to them.
Ishika.1 year ago
Children who are exposed to lot of talking are good at phonological development.
Amish.1 year ago
Parents must talk to children and spend time with them to improve their phonological development.
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