Powerful tools for motor-based treatment approaches

Sara Wood, Joanne Cleland, Zoe Roxburgh

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Since the phonological revolution in the 1970s, SLTs have embraced phonological intervention when dealing with speech sound disorders (SSDs) and largely turned their backs on articulatory approaches. Joffe and Pring (2008) surveyed 98 clinicians working with children with speech difficulties and found the most common approaches used with this client group were auditory discrimination, minimal pairs and phonological awareness, with articulatory approaches used only ‘sometimes’ by around half of respondents. While there is good evidence that phonological impairments can be remediated with these types of phonological therapies (Law, Garrett and Nye, 2003), there remains a proportion of children with persistent SSDs for whom traditional phonological approaches do not provide the whole solution. For these children, the likely root of the impairment is motoric (Gibbon et al, 1999 ).


  • visual biofeedback
  • motor control
  • speech and language disorders
  • speech and language therapy


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