Sound Treatment (Phonological Approach)
A phonological delay or disorder is diagnosed when a child’s speech contains error patterns or speech simplifications. These error patterns are called phonological processes. Error patterns may be developmental or unusual, and can affect the intelligibility of a child’s speech (i.e. how easily they are understood). The presence of a phonological delay or disorder can impact on early literacy skill acquisition, which can in turn impact on learning to read and write.
The aim of phonological therapy is to choose activities that let the child see how changing sounds results in changes in word meaning, and that this affects communication. Sound treatment consists of the use of minimal pairs i.e. words that differ by only one sound and have distinct meaning e.g. ‘she’ and ‘sheep’. Target words are taught receptively, then therapy progresses to expressive use of the words.