What is it about?

There are multiple ways to teach speech sounds to children who have speech sound disorders. One counter-intuitive approach is to teach sounds that are difficult. Research shows that this approach is effective but few speech-language pathologists adopt this approach because many are unfamiliar with this approach. In this tutorial, I explain why speech-language pathologists should use the approach and show them how to select difficult sounds for three different children. I also provide a variety of free materials to help speech-language pathologists determine which sounds are difficult and select appropriately difficult sound for treatment.

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Why is it important?

Teaching difficult sounds is an effective way to improve speech for children with speech sound disorders but few speech-language pathologist use this approach in their clinical practice. This tutorial will help speech-language pathologist add this teaching approach to their clinical practice, improving their ability to help children with speech sound disorders catch up to their typically developing peers.


I hope that the three demonstration cases will help speech-language pathologists see how this approach might fit within their clinical practice. Also, I know one of the barriers to trying out new approaches in clinical practice is the significant investment in time and money to learn a new approach, create new materials, etc. I've provided free materials and made this article open access to remove those barriers. My goal is to help speech-language pathologists try something new!

Professor Holly Storkel
University of Kansas

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Complexity Approach to Phonological Treatment: How to Select Treatment Targets, Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2018, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
DOI: 10.1044/2017_lshss-17-0082.
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