Assessment of Phonological Representations in Children With Speech Impairment Purpose: This study explored the use of assessment tasks to examine underlying phonological representations in preschool children with speech impairment. The study also investigated the association between performance on phonological representation tasks and phonological awareness development. Method: The performance of 9 children (aged 3;09 [years;months] to 5;03) with moderate or ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   October 01, 2005
Assessment of Phonological Representations in Children With Speech Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dean Sutherland
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
    Department of Communication Disorders, University of Canterbury, Private Bag, 4800 Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Gail T. Gillon
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Clinical Forum: Phonological Awareness
Clinical Forum   |   October 01, 2005
Assessment of Phonological Representations in Children With Speech Impairment
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2005, Vol. 36, 294-307. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2005/030)
History: Received October 28, 2004 , Revised February 2, 2005 , Accepted March 17, 2005
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2005, Vol. 36, 294-307. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2005/030)
History: Received October 28, 2004; Revised February 2, 2005; Accepted March 17, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 49

Purpose: This study explored the use of assessment tasks to examine underlying phonological representations in preschool children with speech impairment. The study also investigated the association between performance on phonological representation tasks and phonological awareness development.

Method: The performance of 9 children (aged 3;09 [years;months] to 5;03) with moderate or severe speech impairment and 17 children of the same age with typical speech development was investigated on a range of novel receptive-based assessment tasks designed to tap underlying phonological representations.

Results: Preschool children with speech impairment experienced more difficulty judging correct and incorrect speech productions of familiar multisyllable words and showed inferior performance in the ability to learn nonwords as compared to children without speech impairment. Performance on these tasks was moderately correlated with phonological awareness ability.

Clinical Implications: Factors such as the precision and accessibility of underlying phonological representations of spoken words may contribute to problems in phonological awareness and subsequent reading development for young children with speech impairment. Receptive-based assessments that examine underlying phonological representations provide clinically relevant information for children with speech impairment.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors would like to acknowledge the generous contribution of the children and families who participated in the study. Thanks are also are expressed to the kindergartens, preschools, and speech-language therapists from the New Zealand Ministry of Education for their cooperation in the study. Appreciation is also expressed to University of Canterbury Visiting Erskine Fellow, Professor Hugh Catts, for his advice in the development of the nonword learning task. The authors would like to thank the New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology for financial support.
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