8. New School Phonology: Articulation

Many posts are needed to explain why school phonology (i.e., articulation, apraxia) has tumbled into chaos. Its fundamental validity is questionable, and it interacts with the ways children are placed and retained in special education.

For example:

An examination of school IEPs shows that SLPs almost never set up their goals for generalization of learning (Panagos, J. M., Phonology in schools: Writing IEP goals for generalization. Advance for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, 18, 10-11, 2008). Generalization takes place but it is not observed. Speech therapists learn about generalization when they are in graduate school but they are conditioned by the practices of behavior modification goals dating back to 1960s.

It turns out scientifically generalization is regarded as essential to treatment validity. Barker reviewed phonological trends and practices (Barker, E., Management of speech impairment in children: The journey so far and the road ahead.  Advances in speech-language pathology, 8, 156-163, 2006). In recent years methods have increased in number and variety, but:

“The occurrence of phonological generalization became the hallmark of an effective phonologically-based intervention” (p. 157).

School phonology can build on generalization principles to prevent special education placement and to move placed children faster toward dismissal. Clunking along sound-by-sound appears to be a FAPE issue.

IDEA trends give weight to “evidence-based practice.”

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