Phonological disorder

Alternative Names

Articulation disorder; Developmental articulation disorder; Speech distortion; Sound distortion

Definition of Phonological disorder

Phonological disorder is a type of speech disorder known as an articulation disorder.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

This disorder is more common in boys. About 3% of preschool children and 2% of children ages 6 – 7 have the disorder.


Most children have problems pronouncing words early on while their speech is developing.

Signs and tests

Children should be examined for disorders such as:


Milder forms of this disorder may disappear on their own by around age 6.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome depends on the age at which the disorder started, and how severe it is. Many children eventually develop almost normal speech.


Benjamin W. Van Voorhees, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/13/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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