Don’t Rush The Treatment Process Establish Consistent Accurate Responses

DISCLAIMER: The following post is strictly the opinions of this author. 

I don’t know how many times I have heard SLPs complain that their students aren’t making progress with a particular sound. It is my humble opinion the reason for lack of progress is that they have rushed the process.

Whether you are following Van Riper’s approach for articulation or Barbara Hodson’s phonological treatment plan or any other, the fact remains you must do each step in the process.  You can’t give it a cursory nod and move on just because you want to be at the word level or you don’t like working at the syllable level.  You must complete each step until you get an accuracy rate that reflects consistent accurate productions.

I have observed that many times SLPs will get the sound in isolation and then immediately rush into working on syllables.  Before the phoneme is soundly established, they are rushing to the next step in the treatment plan. Don’t. You need to take the time to get that sound perfect and automated.  I say an accuracy rate of 100% over 3 consecutive sessions is needed before moving on. That’s just my opinion.

The next thing I have observed is that many SLPs will only spend one or two sessions at most practicing the sound in syllables and that is usually the initial and final positions only.  Rarely do they take time to practice the sound in the medial position. Again I say you need to work on this until you get a consistent accuracy rate of at least 90% for three sessions.

I know there have been studies that state you only need an accuracy rate of 75% before moving on to the next step, but I have found when you do that you will more than likely have to drop back to the previous step.  A consistently accurate production was not established and their accuracy diminishes as you try to go forward. Take the time to obtain consistently accurate responses.

My rule of thumb is 100% accuracy of the sound in isolation, then 90% in the remaining steps over 3 consecutive sessions.

I hope this makes you reflect on your own treatment plans. Then see for yourself if this makes a difference in keeping your kids moving forward without getting stuck in the process.

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