How Much Do You Know About Phonological Disorder Vs Apraxia?

There are two types of speech disorders that can affect a person’s ability to produce sounds correctly. These are phonological disorders and apraxia.

Phonological disorder is when a person has difficulty with the rules of sound production in their native language. Apraxia is when a person has difficulty producing the correct sequence of muscle movements needed for speech.

Both disorders can make it hard for a person to be understood by others.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to phonological disorder and apraxia to explain what they are, as well as the symptoms and effects they can have on a person’s life.

Finally, we’ll offer some tips on how to deal with these conditions and help your loved one improve their quality of life.


Phonological Disorders

A phonological disorder is a speech disorder in which sounds are not produced correctly. This can make it difficult for others to understand what the individual is saying. Phonological disorders are common in children, but can also affect adults.

Phonological disorders can be mild, moderate, or severe. They can also be transient (temporary) or persistent (ongoing). Some individuals with a phonological disorder may only have difficulty producing certain sounds, while others may have trouble producing any sound at all.

The most common type of phonological disorder is an articulation disorder. This is when an individual has difficulty producing specific sounds. The most common sound errors include: substitutions (e.g., “wabbit” for “rabbit”), distortions (e.g., “thppt” for “stopped”), omissions (e.g., “da” for “the”), and additions (e .g., “teedle” for “needle’).

What are Examples of Phonological Disorders?

Phonological disorders are characterized by difficulty producing specific sounds, or phonemes. These difficulties can make it hard for a person to be understood when speaking. Phonological disorders typically develop in early childhood and may persist into adulthood if not treated.

There are many different types of phonological disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. Some common examples include: -Difficulty producing certain consonant sounds, such as /s/, /z/, /sh/, or /ch/.

A child with this type of disorder might say “thun” for “sun”, or “boid” for “boy”. -Difficulty producing certain vowel sounds, such as /i/ (as in “bee”), /u/ (as in “boot”), or /a/ (as in “bat”). A child with this type of disorder might say “tat” for “cat”, or “wesh” for “wash”.

-Problems with syllable structure, such as adding extra syllables to words (“carmel” for “caramel”) or leaving out syllables (“lephon” for telephone”). -Difficulty saying words that begin with multiple consonants, such as “/str/” (as in street), “/skw/” (as in square), or “/sp/” (as in spoon). A child with this type of disorder might say “/terd/” for bird, or “/kek/”for cake.

Types of Phonological Disorder

There are a number of different types of phonological disorders, including:

• Sound changes – when a child’s speech sounds change between syllables or words. This can occur as the result of an acquired disorder (a problem that develops over time), or it can be caused by problems with development. For example, a child who has difficulty producing certain voiceless consonants may have sound changes in their speech.

• Voiced vs unvoiced consonants – when one group of vocal cords (usually the unvoiced ones) is more active than another group, this can cause changes in a child’s speech. For example, if a child has trouble producing voiced consonants (like b or p), their speech may sound harsher because the vocal cords are not working as they should.

• Articulation – when a child is unable to produce certain sounds correctly due to problems with how their mouth and throat work. This can be caused by developmental difficulties (such as being born prematurely or having low birth weight), medical conditions, or injury.

• Phonemic awareness – when a child is able to understand what words are supposed to sound like but has problems vocalizing these sounds correctly. This can be caused by difficulties with language development (such as having trouble learning how to spell), or problems with hearing and/or understanding spoken the language.

How to Diagnose Phonological Disorder

There are a number of ways to diagnose phonological disorders, including

• Speech and language assessment – where a qualified professional listens to the child’s speaking and tries to identify any problems with pronunciation or language development. This can include assessing how well the child is able to produce certain sounds, identifying sound changes, and testing their ability to understand what others are saying.

• Audio recording of the child’s speech – if there is suspicion that there may be a specific problem with pronunciation or language development, an audio recording can be made of the child’s speaking so that it can be examined more closely. Speech and language delays can be caused by a number of different things, including:

• Developmental problems – such as being born prematurely or having low birth weight. This can lead to difficulties with speech and language development later on in life.

• Hearing and/or understanding spoken language – if the child is not able to hear correctly or understand what others are saying, this can cause problems with their speech and language skills.

• Neurological conditions – such as cerebral palsy (a condition that affects movement), autism spectrum disorder (an umbrella term for a range of disorders characterized by social withdrawal, repetitive behaviors, and unusual interests and abilities), or pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) – can all lead to delays in speech and language development.

Treatment of Phonological disorder

There are a number of different treatments that can be recommended for children who have phonological disorders, including:

• Speech and language therapy – this is where the child’s therapist helps them to improve their pronunciation and language skills. This can involve working on specific sounds, understanding grammar concepts more clearly, and building vocabulary.

• Educational intervention – if the child is struggling with school or living life in general due to their difficulties with speaking and/or understanding spoken language, interventions such as 504 plans (which help kids with disabilities access mainstream education) or home-school coordination may be necessary.

• Assistive listening devices – these are headphones that let people with speech and language delays listen to audiobooks, music, or other spoken materials without having to read the text. They can be a great way for kids to improve their pronunciation and vocabulary skills.

• Communication aids – such as sign language interpreters or voice recognition software – can help people with speech and/or language delays communicate more effectively. There are a number of different treatments that can be recommended for children who have phonological disorders.

What is Apraxia?

Apraxia is a neuropsychiatric disorder that causes difficulties with movement. It can affect any type of movement, including speaking, swallowing, and walking. It often includes problems with planning or initiating movement, as well as difficulty coordinating muscle groups. Some people with apraxia may also have deficits in working memory and visuospatial skills.

Symptoms of Apraxia

Symptoms of apraxia vary from person to person, but might include:

Difficulty planning or initiating movement. For example, someone with apraxia might have trouble getting up from a chair, picking up an object, or buttoning a shirt.

Difficulty coordinating muscle groups. This can lead to problems with swallowing and speaking. For example, someone with apraxia might struggle to say words correctly or clear their throat enough for speech therapy.

Loss of motor skills in specific areas (e.g., hands coordination). Someone with apraxia may have difficulty writing or doing small tasks with their hands.

Difficulty understanding and making judgments about movement. For example, someone with apraxia may have difficulty telling if a person is trying to walk deliberately or accidentally falling down.

Deficits in working memory and visuospatial skills. These can make it difficult for people with apraxia to remember what they need to do next, how to get where they are going, or how things look on a map.

How to Diagnose Apraxia

There is no single test that can definitively diagnose apraxia. A doctor may use a variety of tests to identify the disorder and its symptoms. These might include:

A neurological exam to look for signs of problems with movement or memory.

An assessment of speech skills, including an evaluation of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain activity in different regions during motor tasks. This can help determine if someone has difficulties with specific areas of movement (e .g., coordination or sequencing).

A computerized tomography (CT) scan to look for abnormalities in the brain. This can help identify specific areas that may be affected by apraxia.

Apraxia Treatment

Treatment for apraxia varies depending on the severity of the disorder. Typically, doctors will work with patients to develop a personalized plan that includes strategies for modifying activities and improving communication.

Some people may need specialized equipment or training to complete everyday tasks. Apraxia has no effective treatment, but some treatments can help people live full and productive lives.

Doctors may prescribe medications or therapy to improve memory or movement skills. Some people with apraxia may also require assistance from family and friends to complete everyday tasks.

Overall, apraxia is a complex disorder that requires ongoing treatment and coordination between doctors, therapists, and family members. However, with the help of specialists and support groups, many people with apraxia are able to lead independent lives.

Can a Child Have Apraxia And a Phonological Disorder?

Apraxia and phonological problems are both possible in a child. Apraxia is a neurological condition that affects movement planning and execution. Sounds are either omitted, substituted, or produced in an atypical manner in phonological disorder, a speech sound disorder.

Apraxia may make it difficult for a kid to create certain noises correctly, string noises together to build phrases or pronounce phrases correctly. Tasks like drawing or buttoning a shirt may be difficult for them due to motor planning difficulties. When speaking, children with phonological disorders may omit, replace, or add sounds.

Two distinct disorders that may impact a kid’s capacity to pronounce sounds properly are phonological disorder and apraxia of speech. Phonological disorder and apraxia of speech are two separate disorders with distinct signs and therapy strategies, however, it is feasible for a kid to have both.

Is Apraxia of Speech a Phonological Disorder?

A phonological deficiency is referred to as apraxia of speech. This has an impact on how words create and structure sounds. Some sounds or entire words are difficult for people with apraxia of speech to say or produce.

Their speech rhythm and timing might be off as well.

Difference between a Phonological Disorder And Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Speech sound disorders come in two flavors: phonological issues and childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).

Typical of a child’s language development stage, phonological disorders involve sound errors. For example, a kid with a phonological problem might pronounce words correctly some of the time but misspell others. Others may find it difficult to comprehend what the child is saying as a result of this.

A neurological condition that affects a kid’s capacity to prepare and generate speech sounds is childhood apraxia of speech. CAS children often have difficulty pronouncing sounds, words, and phrases in the proper sequence. They might have trouble reproducing words and phrases as well.

Articulation Disorder

A difficulty with the way a person produces sounds when speaking is referred to as an articulation disorder. This illness might make it difficult for individuals to pronounce words or sounds, as well as communicate in a way that’s difficult to comprehend.

Articulation disorders come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from mild to severe. Some people might have limited difficulty with only a few sounds, while others might be unable to make any at all.

It’s vital to see a speech-language pathologist if you or your kid have an articulation problem. This expert might assist you or your kid discover additional methods to make noises properly.

Most persons with an articulation problem may increase their speech capacity with treatment.

Articulation Disorder Vs Phonological Disorder

There is a great deal of ambiguity surrounding the distinction between an articulation problem and a phonological problem when it comes to speech and language problems.

When a kid has trouble producing certain sounds, he or she has an articulation issue; when a kid has trouble utilizing sound patterns properly, he or she has a phonological issue. Let’s examine the following in greater depth:

What is meant by the term “articulation disorder”? When a kid has trouble producing particular sounds, he or she experiences an articulation problem. Physical or neurological disorders may cause this, such as muscular abnormalities affecting the muscles used for speech.

Children with articulation problems frequently change one sound for another (e.g., say “wabbit” instead of “rabbit”). They may leave sounds out entirely in certain situations (say, for example, saying “oo” for “spoon”). Others may have a hard time understanding what the child is saying due to articulation problems.

Vowel Errors Speech Therapy

It’s possible that a vowel mistake is causing difficulty for your kid when pronouncing specific words. When a kid makes a vowel mistake in a word, it’s called a vowel error. They may substitute “bug” with “bup,” for example.

Children who are learning to talk frequently make vowel mistakes, which they usually correct over time. Some youngsters, on the other hand, may require speech treatment to acquire the right sounds.

By teaching youngsters the proper technique to make each sound, speech therapy may assist them with vowel mistakes. They’ll also concentrate on teaching the youngster how to pronounce a sound correctly.

In certain circumstances, speech treatment may be indicated for a youngster with severe or chronic vowel faults. Talk to their doctor or a speech therapist about whether speech therapy might be helpful if your kid is having trouble pronouncing certain words.

Difference Between Phonological Disorder and Apraxia of Speech


There is often confusion between phonological disorder and apraxia. Phonological disorder is a problem with the sounds of words while apraxia is a motor speech disorder. Both can make it hard to produce speech sounds correctly and be confused with each other. We have thoroughly discussed apraxia vs phonological disorder that will make you understand clearly with no confusion.

Spread the love

I am Dwight Hughes Sr., your specialist in Special Education and Preschooler topics at Holding a PhD in Early Childhood Education, I bring a depth of knowledge and experience to guide parents and educators in nurturing the younger minds. My mission is to share evidence-based insights, cultivated from years of academic and field research, to help every child flourish during their formative years.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x