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"The phonological intervention approach you select will, in part, be influenced by the findings from your assessment and in particular the goals you identify from your phonological analysis of a child’s speech sample."

McLeod and Baker 2017, p.468

McLeod and Baker (2017) suggest that the following aspects are assessed in children with potential SSD:

  1. Case history
  2. Speech intelligibility
  3. Single word assessment
  4. Connected speech assessment
  5. Stimulability
  6. Inconsistency
  7. Oral structure and function
  8. Speech perception


Guidance on single word sample length:

“A screening list of words, derived by picture naming (not imitation). Expert clinical opinion suggests approximately 60 items as an appropriate length for this initial list. It should include as many consonants in as many syllable/word positions as possible, a range of vowels and some polysyllabic words. The screening list should also have the potential to assess for variability through assessing each consonant in each word position in a range of contexts. Many current published assessments would fulfil these criteria.” (Good Practice Guidelines for Transcription of Children's Speech Samples in Clinical Practice and Research, p.5).

Guidance on connected speech sample length:

75 words is sufficient (Wren et al. 2016).

Once a priority target has been identified (i.e., phonological process, single sound, class of sounds) additional data on the target(s) should be gathered and transcribed  via probes. These probes should consist of the target sound(s) in a variety of phonetic contexts and in words with varying number of syllables. (Child Speech Disorder Research Network 2017)


Seeing Speech IPA

Good Practice Guidelines for Transcription of Children's Speech Samples in Clinical Practice and Research (Child Speech Disorder Research Network, 2017)

Patel and Connaghan (2014) Play park picture description task for assessing childhood motor speech disorders

McLeod and Hand (1991) Single word test of consonant clusters