This study explored the intervention processes used by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to treat children with speech sound disorders (SSDs).
Semistructured, individual, in-depth interviews were conducted with 11 Australian SLPs. Inductive content analysis was used to classify the data to provide a description of current intervention processes for children with SSDs.
Three main factors were identified relating to the intervention processes used by SLPs: (a) target selection, (b) therapy approaches, and (c) structural and procedural aspects of therapy sessions, including feedback. The findings revealed that SLPs often combine elements of four therapies: the minimal pairs approach, traditional articulatory approaches, auditory discrimination, and Cued Articulation. Initial therapy targets typically aligned with a developmental approach or were functional speech targets with meaningful relevance to the child and their family.
These findings contribute to the current state of knowledge about the intervention processes used by SLPs for children with SSDs. The use of hybrid speech pathology therapies, which combined elements of favored approaches, was common. Hybrid methods were intended to help tailor the interventions to individual needs. Client needs were highly prioritized by SLPs and influenced their choice of therapy targets and therapy approaches.