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Speech and Hearing Perspectives

Elimination of Phonological Processes in Early Intervention

Published May 1, 2014 8:30 AM by Speech Merion
After offering free screenings to local daycares and nursery schools, my caseload filled with 3-5 year olds in need of early intervention. Using the Clinical Assessment of Articulation and Phonology (CAAP-2), I am finding that many of these youngsters have 5-7 phonological processes occurring more than 70% of the time (For the CAAP, the requirement is 40% occurrence). I share with caregivers the CAAP's description of typically developing processes, and explain that although these errors are still within normal limits, the frequency and number of errors negatively impact intelligibility. I also found it useful to share the elimination of phonological processes in typical development chart. You can download the chart by clicking the image, or you can view it at Phonological processes are typically gone by these ages (in years;months)

Treating the process, and not individual sounds, has allowed for quicker acquisition of targets. Over the past few months I have composed a variety of activities to address various processes. It has also been helpful for parents to carryover in the home because they remember the activity more readily than a target sound. For example, to address weak syllable deletion, many children have enjoyed playing hopscotch. Using a hopscotch carpet, we jump for each syllable produced. Final consonant deletion has been successful when I use a retractable ball on string.  If the child produces the final consonant, I roll the ball to them completely, if they do not, I roll it part-way, and retract it.

Lynn LaValley, MS, CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and owner of Therapy for Language and Communication in Wallingford, Conn. LaValley earned her Master's Degree from NOVA Southeastern University in 2002. She is passionate about helping her clients communicate in any and every form possible. She enjoys the private setting because she likes working with families and sharing strategies to promote speech and language skills. You can follow her on twitter @tlcspeechct, on her blog:, and on Facebook at Therapy for Language and Communication. 

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Thank you! this is very helpful.

Yelena Gretchneva, SLP - CF, Mercy College May 22, 2014 9:55 PM
New York NY

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