This is a term used to describe the situation when a child uses a single consonant sound in place of other consonant sounds. The more extensive the phoneme collapse is, the more unintelligible the child’s speech, due to the large number of sounds that are being substituted. The child may substitute the initial sounds in words with the sound ‘d’. For example, ‘soap’ would be produced as ‘doap’; ‘cup’ word be produced as ‘dup’.

Children who are highly unintelligible are often described by parents as having a language of their own.

When you suspect that your child may have a phonological disorder you should see a Speech Pathologist in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis of the actual type of disorder, and the best approach to assist in the improvement of your child’s production of sounds. Why should you obtain an assessment? An assessment will provide:

  • The predominant error patterns
  • A differential diagnosis
  • An evaluation of the severity and intelligibility
  • Information to guide targeted intervention – this is the link between assessment and intervention
  • A baseline and can be used to monitor progress
  • Goals- that are the driving force that steer and guide intervention

As children who have significant phonological disorders often struggle with reading and spelling compared to their peers, it is essential that your child’s speech error is addressed at the earliest appropriate time.