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Speech...phonological disorder

(27 Posts)
HHH3 Sat 27-Feb-16 19:18:14

Does anyone have any experience of this? Private SALT is pretty sure this is what DS2 (3) has. Have been reading up but would really appreciate other people's experiences as well.


HHH3 Mon 29-Feb-16 10:31:15

Bumping just in case!

pandyandy2 Mon 29-Feb-16 19:16:57


I have no experience of phonological disorder per say but I did come across it when researching my DS's speech difficulties some time ago.
Am I correct in thinking the child has no issues with receptive language and it is a disorder of articulation that is the issue? Or does your child essentially not correctly process speech sounds and therefore cannot correctly articulate?
Either way, how are old is your little one and how do you feel about this diagnosis?
My DS is 3 and his understanding of language and speech is delayed/disordered. (I always put that slash because the professionals have used both terms but never been SPECIFIC.)
At present I use Makaton signs. Is this something you have tried or something that has been suggested to aid communication?


scottgirl Mon 29-Feb-16 20:21:13

Hi, DS (4) has just been referred to the SENCO and also SALT. I think he has phonological disorder. His speech is normal but he can't pronounce certain letters (f and v)

His nursery staff (who are referring to SALT) think he can't hear the letters or physically can't get his lips/ mouth around them (IYSWIM). He tries so hard but just can't do it. Have not had any treatment yet so sorry not much help with that.

HHH3 Mon 29-Feb-16 21:01:41

pandy yes, his receptive language is absolutely fine. The way it's been explained to me, very simply, is that his brain has wired itself wrong so when he speaks it comes out wrong. He's 3.2. I'm glad to have answers but worried about the future - as I understand it we have a long road ahead of us.

He did sign quite a lot but has recently dropped almost all of his signs. I think he thinks he's speaking properly but it's basically unintelligible. I understand about 80% of what he says but he has approx 5 words that someone who doesn't know him would understand.

I'm thinking about really pushing the signing again but I'm not sure how helpful that will be as the only time he's with me is at pre school/nursery and they don't sign so won't understand what he's signing anyway.

scott bless him! I'm glad he's being referred for some help. Hope it's not too long in coming.

pandyandy2 Mon 29-Feb-16 21:47:11

Yes my son is 3.2 as well!

That's good that your DS's receptive language is good, (yet I understand probably actually more frustrating for him if he understands, yet others aren't necessarily understanding him! X)

I personally would bring the signing back in, as if it's makaton I think so many of the signs are 'obvious' iyswim and therefore it can only 'aid' nursery staff in understanding your little man. And could you ask if any staff have attended a course, (as even if you know they haven't, it's a subtle hint that it would be helpful!)

Your son sounds to have done well picking signs up originally! I've been trying to sign about 1 per very short instruction (ie get your shoes, I'd sign shoes) for months, yet my son can do perhaps 3, but I suppose that goes hand in hand with struggling with the receptive side as well.

Can I ask if/ your son's behavior is affected?
I suspect my son has ASD and am pursuing this with the paediatrician (therefore there may be other reasons for this,) but my son currently can hit, scratch etc I'm sure it's mainly because he can't make himself known.


HHH3 Mon 29-Feb-16 22:09:10

I think it's swings and roundabouts really! Must be awful that they don't understand but it's awful that he does and can't verbalise things. The paed thinks he's actually very bright.

I've got to choose a nursery for September in the next few weeks and it's a nightmare trying to work out which one will support him best. I need to speak to them all again to ask about makaton as I didn't ask when I looked around.

We actually did baby signing, long before I had any idea there would be a problem with his speech. So it kind of naturally followed on from there.

When he isn't understood he'll sometimes get frustrated with me and tantrum. But mostly he gives up (I don't know which is worse tbh). It worries me because he's a very outgoing and happy little boy at the moment and I really don't want him to lose that. I don't think he has ASD though.

pandyandy2 Tue 01-Mar-16 06:45:09

Oh no, apologies, didn't mean to indicate that that's what speech issues can add up to. We think possible ASD for a variety of reasons. X

I know what you mean about which is son sometimes gives up on what he's trying to say also and its heart breaking!
Another one for me though is when I think something he's said to somebody else has been pretty clear and then that person hrts it completely wrong and echos something random back!

On the whole though it's positive that you are aware of your son's difficulties before picking a nursery and aware at an early age rather than been fobbed off.

Good luck on choosing a nursery and keep posting. Xx

sazale Tue 01-Mar-16 07:19:55

My ds 9 was diagnosed with a phonological speech disorder at age 4. His was final constenant deletion which means he used to miss the ends off words. A couple of years of SALT input and it was vastly improved. However, his phonological processing difficulties also affect his literacy skills and he's been diagnosed as having moderate to severe dyslexia.

HHH3 Tue 01-Mar-16 07:59:40

pandy I didn't think that's what you meant! Don't worry!

I know what you mean about thinking something is clear and other people not understanding. Happens all the time and I'm basically his interpreter!

I was fobbed off for ages. Kept being told he was just a bit delayed even though I kept saying there was more to it than that. The NHS provision here is awful and I've just put in an official complaint because of the complete farce we've been through over the last 14 months. He now gets DLA so I'm using that to pay for private SALT.

sazale thanks for replying. DS misses off final consonants, often the first sounds and most of the middle sounds are wrong as well. It's often just gobbledegook!

Can I ask how much SALT your DS had over the couple of years? It's also interesting about the dyslexia. I didn't realise the two were linked.

EnterNicknameHere Tue 01-Mar-16 08:03:26

My son was diagnosed with phonological disorder at 4, he was unintelligible by others but his understanding was almost perfect. He's now 9 and his speech is perfect and has been for a couple of years, he did struggle with learning to read with phonics and is still a little behind but is getting there.
My son also got an ASD diagnosis at 6.

HHH3 Tue 01-Mar-16 08:13:52

Thanks Enter that's really good to hear. Can I ask how much SALT you think he had please?

EnterNicknameHere Tue 01-Mar-16 08:30:03

Well he had SALT from age 4-7 BUT he only had it sporadically, he had about 6 sessions every 6 months or so, he should probably have had more but NHS SALT where I live isn't great and is over subscribed, we did get some activities to do at home and he had a couple of sessions of group social skills groups. His speech seemed to suddenly just click when he was almost 6 with just a few articulation difficulties remaining like clustering, a mil stutter and fast speech. It was an amazing change actually because his speech was really really bad, but it never affected his confidence at all, he's always been super friendly and very confident in himself smile

HHH3 Tue 01-Mar-16 08:35:01

NHS SALT isn't great here either. But that's amazing how it all suddenly clicked for him. And brilliant to hear that it didn't affect his confidence - that's one of my big fears for DS.

tabulahrasa Tue 01-Mar-16 08:51:12

My DS has one, he also has an ASD and dyslexia...

At 3 he was completely unintelligible to strangers, and I could probably catch about 80% of what he said as well, maybe less actually.

By the time he was 6 he could talk to people he didn't know (it may have been a bit younger, but definitely by 6).

His affected all the common consonants (r, w, y etc.) consonant blends and vowels).

He had SALT until he was about 12, by which point no more progress was being made so they discharged him.

He's 19, he still has issues with r and th and occasionally L. But he is comprehensible to most people.

HHH3 Tue 01-Mar-16 11:02:14

Thanks tabulah for posting. It's so good to hear how well your DS has done.

We've just been to NHS SALT and tbh I'm a bit stunned (in a good way). At the end of the session the SALT asked me if I'd let her put DS forward for a specialist speech and language nursery about 20 mins drive from here. Of course I said 'yes'! I think I'm just a bit stunned because after saying repeatedly for the last 14 months that he needs more help and being continually fobbed off, this just came totally out of left field. So she's going to put him forward and see if the panel accept him.

pandyandy2 Tue 01-Mar-16 12:53:09

That's really good news! Very pleased for you, well done!

And really good to her from others whether their child's speech issues are in isolation or related to ASD that much progress has been made over the years!

I cannot wait to converse with my little boy!

HHH3 Tue 01-Mar-16 13:39:41

Same here pandy. It really feels like I'm missing out on little toddler conversations sometimes. Can't wait to have proper conversations with him.

I'm so pleased about the nursery. Fingers crossed he gets a place. Although the cynical part of me can't help wondering if things are suddenly moving because I've put an official complaint in!

tabulahrasa Tue 01-Mar-16 15:10:41

If it helps with the ASD DS's is considered separate because it's not typical of the type of speech issues that are usually linked to ASDs and in fact delayed the ASD diagnosis for quite a few years.

So while he also has an ASD, the speech and dyslexia don't appear to part of that and were diagnosed alone...the speech and dyslexia are definitely linked though as a big part of the dyslexia is the same issue with sounds and phonetics.

pandyandy2 Tue 01-Mar-16 16:41:36

Ah, I didn't realise that, I though once an ASD diagnosis was given it kind of 'covered' the speech. I didn't realise it could still stand alone.
That's why I'm glued to this forum, I'm learning so much! X

In regards your official complaint, who cares if that was the reason and well done you for keeping going! I feel like giving up trying to obtain a specific diagnosis some days but then find a mojo by thinking how much the correct strategies could benefit our family as a whole! (Ie I'd like to find strategies that mean my son understands when I my girls need just 10 minutes of my uninterrupted time, or strategies that allow us to perhaps all walk around the park without my son legging it then essentially a fight to get him back in the pushchair.)

HHH3 Tue 01-Mar-16 16:59:31

That's interesting about dyslexia. So I'm guessing there's a higher than average chance he'll be dyslexic too.

There have been plenty of times I've felt like giving up fighting. But I couldn't live with myself unless I at least tried to get the best for him.

tabulahrasa Tue 01-Mar-16 17:27:32

"So I'm guessing there's a higher than average chance he'll be dyslexic too."

I have no clue tbh, I just know with mine it's really really obvious to me that it's actually the same issue, it's the same sounds he can't spell or read properly that he couldn't say or hear the difference in as a toddler.

The writing actually impacts him more than the speech now as spellcheck can't even work out what he's attempting with some words, his reading although isn't at the level it should be is fine though - it's just that when tested it's not as good as should be.

He's first year at uni though so he manages well enough.

HHH3 Tue 01-Mar-16 17:39:47

Ok, that makes sense. Definitely something to keep an eye on in the future.

So glad to hear your DS is doing wellsmile

Spakledsockmonkey Tue 01-Mar-16 19:52:03

My daughters speech therapist has recently diagnosed her with developmental verbal dyspraxia and can now get the treatment she needs. I live abroad do I am negotiating a completely different healthcare system and because we are an English speaking family in a non English speaking country, support for speech delays etc is hard to come by.

HHH3 Tue 01-Mar-16 20:10:59

That sounds really tough. Do you know what you'll do from here?

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