Preschool screening and therapy for students with physical impairment

Brandi was just over 3 years of age when she was first brought to the University Speech and Hearing Center by her mother, Mrs. A. A preschool screening program had identified Brandi as needing further evaluation. Mrs. A. noted that Brandi mispronounced many words and could not be understood by people outside of the family, Brandi’s 5- year-old brother frequently interpreted Brandi’s speech so that others could understand her. Examination at the center revealed that Brandi had normal hearing and physical structure for speech. Her receptive and expressive language skills were above average in all areas but phonology. Brandi was diagnosed with a moderate to severe phonological disorder of unknown cause, and therapy was recommended. An example of Brandi’s speech at the beginning of therapy is as follows: Target: Stop playing with my toy. Brandi: Kop payin’ wid my koy. Because of her young age and her high spirits, therapy was presented through structured play activities. By the end of 3 months, she frequently selfcorrected in the clinical setting. At the end of a year of therapy, Brandi’s mother reported that her daughter was self-correcting at home. As a result, her speech intelligibility improved dramatically, even to unfamiliar listeners.

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