Phonological disorder causes problems making the right sounds for letters or words. Children with this disorder make 3 types of mistakes:
This disorder can go away by itself by the time a child is around 8 years old. However, the earlier speech therapy is started the better. Children who start therapy before age 3 usually improve faster and do better than older children.
Several kinds of problems may cause this disorder:
Parents who have speech problems have a higher risk of having children who develop speech problems. It is more common in boys than girls.
Symptoms may include:
Parents usually notice this disorder when their child is about 3 years old. Do not wait to see if a problem goes away by itself. Your child may miss many months of helpful therapy.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history and examine your child. Your child will also have hearing and vision tests.
If your healthcare provider thinks your child may have a speech disorder, your child may need to see a specialist. They can do more testing and advise you about treatment. Your school district may also provide testing services for your child.
If your child also has a hearing problem or other medical condition, the medical condition is treated first.
The most common treatment for this disorder combines language and speech therapy. These kinds of therapy can:
Many public schools have a speech therapist or tutor who works with children diagnosed with this disorder.
Children who attend public preschool, elementary school, or secondary school may be eligible for free assistance. The school must develop an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) for each child who needs special education. This plan includes:
Both the parent and the school must agree to the plan. You may want to visit public schools in your area to see the type of program they offer.
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