Speech Sound Disorders

Speech Sound Disorders

Speech Sound Disorders

Speech sound disorders is an umbrella term referring to any difficulty or combination of difficulties with perception, motor production, or phonological representation of speech sounds and speech segments—including phonotactic rules governing permissible speech sound sequences in a language. These disorders are referred to as articulation disorders and phonological disorders, respectively. 

Articulation disorders focus on errors (e.g., distortions and substitutions) in production of individual speech sounds. 

Phonological disorders focus on predictable, rule-based errors (e.g., fronting, stopping, and final consonant deletion) that affect more than one sound.

Intervention for speech sound disorders typically involve the following sequence of steps:

  • Establishment—eliciting target sounds and stabilizing production on a voluntary level.
  • Generalization—facilitating carry-over of sound productions at increasingly challenging levels (e.g., syllables, words, phrases/sentences, conversational speaking).
  • Maintenance—stabilizing target sound production and making it more automatic; encouraging self-monitoring of speech and self-correction of errors.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (20016b). Scope of practice in speech-language-pathology [Scope of Practice]. Available from www.asha.org/policy/

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