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Children with atypical phonological development : assessment profiles and rates of change Erickson, Kristin Heather


Children with protracted phonological development (PPD) require an assessment that reflects factors associated with their speech delay, in order to formulate maximally effective intervention goals. This study examined issues relating to the assessment and classification of children with PPD, as having a perceptual or motoric basis, and factors or patterns of performance that might be predictive of severity or change in PPD. Thirteen English-speaking preschool children (4;0 to 5;6) with moderate to severe PPD participated in this study. All children had normal oral structures, hearing and vocabulary comprehension. Data were collected in an initial assessment and again 3-5 months later. Tasks at assessment included the Computerized Articulation and Phonology Evaluation System (CAPES, Masterson & Bernhardt, 2001), the Speech Assessment and Interactive Learning System (SAILS, AVAAZ, 1994) perceptual test, the Prereading Inventory of Phonological Awareness (PIPA , Dodd, Crosbie, Mcintosh, Teitzel & Ozanne, 2003), maximum performance tasks (MPTs) using monosyllabic and trisyllabic sequences, and the gross and fine motor subscales from the Child Development Inventory (CDI, Ireton,1992) parent questionnaire. The follow-up assessment consisted of CAPES, a subset of SAILS, a selection of MPTs, and a parent version of the Speech Participation and Activity of Children (SPAA-C, McLeod, 2004) questionnaire. At follow-up, all children showed improvement in phonology. Analysis of the initial assessment tasks did not clearly reveal motoric or perceptual bases for the PPD or factors that were predictive of gain in phonology 3-5 months later. Descriptive comparisons of children's performance patterns on the initial assessment tasks suggested that phonemic perception might be correlated to severity and/or change in phonology.

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