Correspondence to: Ciara Baldwin, Speech and Language Therapy, HSE Cork South, City General, Infirmary Road, Cork, Republic of Ireland. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Objective:To investigate speech and language therapists’ current practice in the selection of intervention targets for children with speech sound disorders. Method:Questionnaires were used to elicit information from 88 speech and language therapists working in the Republic of Ireland about their selection of intervention targets in the treatment of speech sound disorders. Main results: The majority (73%) of therapists placed a high priority on selecting stimulable sounds as intervention targets. Around half (52%) placed a high priority on earlier developing sounds with a minority prioritizing later developing sounds (10%) and non-stimulable sounds (14%). Speech and language therapists’ years of experience did not have a significant impact on their selection practices. However, the amount of continuing professional development a speech and language therapist had in the area of speech sound disorders did have a significant effect on target selection. Conclusion:The speech and language therapists in this study used clinical experience and traditional practices, such as stimulability, to select intervention targets in the treatment of speech sound disorders. However, there is research evidence to show that the selection of non-traditional intervention targets, such as non-stimulable and later developing sounds, can result in more system-wide generalisation. Speech and language therapists may benefit from increasing their knowledge about current theories and intervention research relevant to target selection.
Keywords: Speech and language therapy, target selection, speech sound disorder