Orange boy.jpg

Practice 2

Darius is a 5 year, 4 month old boy referred by his kindergarten teacher. Darius is difficult to understand and did not pick up phonics skills that his peers picked up during first quarter. Darius' speech productions included:
- fix it -> pit it
- stay here -> day heoh
- I told you -> I toe you
- bread -> bed
- sticker -> ditto
- rest -> wet
- make some more -> mate duh moh
- why not -> why not
- my turn -> my tone
- jump over it -> dup oboe it
- watch me -> wat me
- no way -> no way
- what you say -> wha you day
- where -> wayo
- up there -> up dayo
- that's it -> dat it
- what you get -> wha you det
- let's go -> let doh

Based on this limited sample and assuming it is representative of connected speech, what would you plan for target patterns and phonemes to teach the patterns?

Remember, always look at the Primary Patterns first, and I think, "Do I need to target this?"
-Syllableness? NO, he can string two syllables together (even if every phoneme in the word is not correct)
-Initial Singleton Consonants? NO, he begins most words with a consonant (even if it is not the correct consonant)
-Final Singleton Consonants? NO, he ends at least 60% of words with a consonant (again, even if it is not the correct consonant)*
-Anterior-Posterior Contrast? YES, he is not yet at 60% on /k, g/
-S Blends? YES, he is not combining consonants.
-Liquids? YES, he is not using /r/.

*You may have noticed final consonant deletions in some of his words and wondered why I would not target this pattern. Note that this example uses phrases rather than words, so we have to look at the phonetic context. For example, in "I told you," there is a hidden /ldj/ blend. I would note the /l/ and /d/ deletions in this phrase and look at other words/phrases to find patterns. I would not worry to much about postvocalic /l/ deletions, because many adults do this, and it has little impact on intelligibility. I would consider the /d/ deletion and check to see whether final consonant deletions are rampant. They are not. However, he is not producing any consonant blends. Therefore, I would operate under the assumption that the problem with this phrase is the blend /dj/ rather than the final consonant /d/. If I am wrong, I can always toss a few final consonants into the Cycle.


And we stop there, because we do not want to worry about Secondary Patterns until he has met criteria for graduating from Primary Patterns.

Phonemes to teach the patterns (assuming stimulability):
(Anterior-Posterior Contrast)
-/k/ final
-/g/ initial
(S Blends)
-/st/ initial
-/sp/ initial
-/sk/ initial
-/sn/ initial
-/ts/ final
-/ps/ final
(Liquids)
-/r/ initial

Cycle 2
(S Blends)
-/st/ initial
-/sp/ initial
-/sn/ initial
-/sm/ initial
-/ps/ final
-/ts/ final
(Liquids)
-/r/ initial

Cycle 3
(S Blends)
-/st, sp/ initial
-/sn, sm/ initial
-/sk/ initial
-/ts, ps, ks/ final
(Liquids)
-/r/ initial

Cycle 4
(S Blends)
-/st/ initial "It's a _"
-/sp/ initial "It's a _"
-/sn/ initial "It's a _"
(Liquids)
-/r/ initial
-/gr/ initial
(Palatals)
-ch final
-sh final
-j initial
(Other Consonant Clusters)
-glide clusters
-medial /s/ clusters
-/s/+stop final clusters

Cycle 5
(S Blends)
-/st, sp, sk/ initial "It's a _"
(Liquids)
-/r/ initial
-/gr/ initial
-/kr/ initial
(Palatals)
-ch final
-sh final
-j initial
(Other Consonant Clusters)
-medial /s/ clusters
-three consonant sequences

And do not forget metaphonological work! With Darius already in school, he needs an extra helping of this to help him catch up. I would ask that the special educator, paraeducator, or general ed teacher work on this for 5 minutes every day, 15 minutes 2x weekly, or whatever they can do. Reading group might be a time that the general ed teacher could practice with him for a few minutes.