Jo Baker: “Seeing Phonological Disorders More Clearly: Understanding the Impact of Phonological Awareness Intervention on the Speech Sound System of Children with Consistent Phonological Disorder”

In Students by General Account

I completed my undergraduate studies at Newcastle University in 2020, qualifying as a Speech and Language Therapist with a BSc (Hons) in Speech and Language Sciences. Throughout my degree, I learnt the importance of critically analysing and adhering to evidence when delivering speech and language therapy intervention. I put this into practice on clinical placement.

When on placement, I became particularly interested in the relationship between expressive phonology and speech sound disorder. Phonological awareness is a child’s ability to recognise and work with the different sounds that make up their language. It is also an important skill for vocabulary and reading development. In practice, children with speech sound disorder often receive intervention targeted at improving their phonological awareness skills; evidence suggests that supporting phonological awareness skills helps remediate speech sound production difficulties.

Research has shown us that time spent working on children’s phonological awareness helps with their speech difficulties. However, the relationship between consistent phonological disorder and phonological awareness remains unclear. In the Phonological Awareness for Speech project, I want to try and understand which children with speech difficulties are likely to benefit most from phonological awareness intervention. This will help future Speech and Language Therapists choose the most suitable interventions for children like yours. To do this, we need to deliver the intervention to children with speech difficulties and observe their progress.

I aim to produce results which can inform clinical practice so that the best and most time-efficient intervention can be chosen for children with speech sound disorder.