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Treating Children With Speech Sound Disorders Proposal

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Updated: Jun 16th, 2022

Background of the Study

In recent years, clinical studies and assessment surveys concerning children’s speech sound disorder (SSD) have been conducted. Preschoolers with these conditions require efficient services to enhance their speaking intelligibility. Various treatment methods have been discovered, but not much is known about the current intervention techniques used by SLPs to work with SSD children. Irrespective of the numerous rising intervention models used by speech-language pathologists (SLPs), comparison parameters among them are yet to develop. The emerging phonological procedures aim at speech improvement, unlike traditional treatment, which corrected specific speech sounds.

Phonological Versus Traditional Intervention

For SLPs, the accuracy of treatment methods used in SSD cases is vital. According to Bessas and Trimmis (2016), despite scientific research in communication disorders and the emergence of new terms in the study, confusion prevailed among SLPs as new phonological techniques differed from the radical traditional ones. Over the years, scholars have focused on the establishment of an articulation therapy program founded on the specific-feature analysis of children’s speech problems (Nelson et al., 2006). Based on the reports, the outcomes of this intervention model proved its effectiveness to guide articulation therapy (Bessas & Trimmis, 2016). According to the findings of the survey carried out in the US, among the SLPs, most indicated the use of traditional intervention over other techniques while several used phonological methods, providing phonological awareness training (Brumbaugh & Smit, 2013). Adopting a phonological approach to SSD among children aged 3-6 does not mean refutation of the originally established principles in the traditional method (Bessas & Trimmis, 2016). Phonological ideologies should be viewed to add new scopes and perceptions to an existing issue instead of rejecting already recognized beliefs.

Problem Statement

The study primarily aims at investigating the commonly used intervention for SSD children aged 3-6 years in the Arab nations by SLPs. There is no record of previous research that was conducted in these regions to investigate methods in use by the SLPs among this population. A difference in the ancient and the most recent phonological interventions reflected that the previously SLP graduates had less knowledge in handling children with SSD as compared to their experienced coworkers. According to McGrath et al. (2013), abnormal coordination may result from structural brain pathology. Speech-based tactics supported by earlier studies are open for SLPs, scholars arguing that oral training should be in line with the speech framework (Alhaidary, 2019). 75% of the population in preschools and other similar settings constitutes of children with SSD (Mullen & Schooling, 2010). The question about the various intervention techniques used by SLPs in treating SSD children aged 3-6 years and of service delivery options form the focus of the current study.

Purpose of the Study

General Objective

This study’s general objective will be to have a wide-range overview of the interventions used by SLPs in the Arab countries among preschooler children between the age of 3-6 years.

Specific Objectives

The below specific objectives will also be used to guide the conduct of the study.

  1. To determine the most common interventions used by SLPs among children ages 3-6 years with SSD.
  2. To examine if the service delivery SLPs use to treat children of ages 3-6years with SSD is appropriate for this population.
  3. To determine the difference in SSD interventions and intervention techniques for children between Western nations and Arab regions.
  4. To Explore the variance between recent graduates and earlier graduates based on SSD intervention approaches.
  5. To evaluate the nature and duration of therapeutic sessions applied in SSD children’s treatment.

Research Questions

This study aims to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the commonly used interventions by SLPs among children aged 3-6 years with SSD?
  2. Do SLPs use service delivery models in SSD treatment suitable for the specified children’s population between 3-6 years?
  3. What is the difference between the Western nations and Arab regions in relation to their treatment procedures for children who have SSD?
  4. What variations exist amongst recent and earlier SLP graduates regarding their understanding of SSD intervention approaches?
  5. How long and frequent do therapeutic sessions among children with SSD last?

Study Hypothesis

It is of essence to familiarize with the predominantly used interventions by SLPs among the preschoolers with SSD and if these methods are research-supported. As earlier stated, it is difficult to identify children with phonetic disorders before 6 years. Therefore, a higher percentage of preschoolers with SSD tend to have system-wide (phonological) disorders more than isolated speech sound (phonetic) conditions (Shriberg et al., 1999). Based on a previous study, parents reported their major concern as children having unclear speech, marked by 12% of the sample (McLeod & Harrison 2009). There is an optimistic expectation that if a common service delivery technique linking these processes is established, the number of SSD children aged 3-6 years receiving treatment could reduce significantly (Preston & Edwards, 2010). Such outcomes mean that there would be no more need for intervention thus a positive impact on the victims and their families.

Experimental Design and Methods

Research Design

The proposed research will adopt a descriptive research design. A descriptive examination is portrayed as a comprehensive analysis of a given topic to generate substantial information about it. According to Saunders et al. (2016), researchers using this design are depicted as outsiders who describe an object’s exact nature without altering it in any way. In this research, descriptive research will enable the researcher to establish the appropriateness of the different techniques for children aged 3-6 years and also compare the comprehension of treatment tactics between earlier and recently graduated SLPs.

Research Methods and Sources

Surveys will be implemented in this study as the main method of obtaining data from the respondents. According to Brumbaugh and Smit (2013), a previous study conducted in the United States adopted these instruments alongside the Axio electronic survey system invented by Kansas State University. The Axio system supports the administration of surveys by use of electronic mails and follow-up. Surveys will best reveal the numerous SSD intervention practices amongst preschoolers aged 3-6 years in the Arab regions due to these benefits. Moreover, to conduct this survey, google forms will be used.

Target Population

The target population is a specific set of people, aspects, or things that are placed under examination. The proposed research aims at collecting information about children in the Arab areas of the age bracket 3-6 years diagnosed with speech sounds disorders. Google Forms will be distributed to SLPs in these regions for them to fill in the information on their treatment interventions and service delivery among SSD children aged 3-6. In the US study case, SLPs were used as a sample population.

Surveys that were conducted required the SLPs to provide information on their service delivery and treatment interventions among children aged 3–6 years with speech sound disorders. The online survey was sent by email to 2,395 SLPs selected from the American speech-language-hearing Association (ASHA) membership statistics. 2,084 SLPs across the United States who worked in pre-elementary environments received the survey questions (Brumbaugh & Smit, 2013). Among them, 24% attempted part of the survey and gave usable responses while 76% completed the whole survey; however, 18% of this did not give valid answers (Brumbaugh & Smit, 2013). Responses of the SLPs who choose to discontinue the survey were included until the analysis stage when the results were no longer significant.

Data Analysis and Presentation

Surveys as a data collection tool in the study were effectively designated. The method is considered reliable as the input provided reflected the opinions of the participants. Additionally, it is affordable and easily summarized, especially if the SLPs sampled for research are from the same field (Babbie, 2015). After feedback from the respondents through the online questionnaires, the emails will be sorted to determine if the right information has been provided. Only the correctly filled survey questions will be considered for analysis.

Quantitative data analysis will be appropriate for this research. In addition, the Statistical Package for the social sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel will be used to analyze the collected data from the surveys. Descriptive and inferential statistics will as well be used in data analysis. The recorded survey findings will be presented by tabulating them in either mean or frequency tables generated to display the research’s response patterns. Correlation statistics will further outline the connection of intervention practices among SSD children within 3-6 years in the Arab countries and Western states.

Data Interpretation

Information presented in studying the adoption of various treatment techniques among children aged 3-6 years with speech sound disorders was largely accepted in the Arabs region due to effective data analysis and presentation. The study covered the pre-elementary caseload percentage that comprises children with SSD, how their therapy sessions are scheduled, and their groupings. The question of varying intervention techniques and their appropriateness for SSD children aged 3-6 years was addressed by published manuals, SSD books, and guidelines from clinical supervisors (Brumbaugh & Smit, 2013). Similarly, therapeutic sessions allowed thirty to a maximum of sixty minutes to these children irrespective of individual or group setting.

However, few researchers remained cynical about understanding the traditional and most current phonological interventions, as explained by the newly graduated SLPs compared to their more experienced colleagues. Brumbaugh and Smit (2013) indicated that the majority of SLPs, who participated in the survey listed that they mainly used old-style intervention in conjunction with other techniques. Others claimed that they adopted phonological procedures and offered training for awareness of the same. A smaller number of SLPs demonstrated their use of nonspeech oral motor exercises than discovered in former research surveys (Brumbaugh & Smit, 2013). In addition, recently graduated SLPs were considered unknowledgeable about phonological aspects, compared to their experienced colleagues.

This type of discrepancy is common in research studies and, in most cases, leads to the need for more gathering of information and increases research gaps in the future. In fact, interpretation differences over the availability or absence of a trend triggered scientists to look broadly into the traditional and phonological approach to SSD in relation to evidence-based procedures (Shriberg, 2003). It is worth noting that in the present day, numerous intervention developments have emerged (Law et al., 2017). This will, therefore, mean that the experienced SLPs and the recently graduated ones will settle their feud over who is more known as both will have new facts to understand.

To sum up, several research topics have emerged after the findings and results of this survey. Even though new technology has improved intervention methods, future study into pre-service knowledge and clinical phonology teaching is suggested. This is based on the finding that fresh graduates were more unaware of the most recent phonological tactics compared to those before them. The survey questionnaire was slightly modified to suit the settings of the Arab countries, and there is no available data about interventions used by Speech-language pathologists to treat SSD children Ages 3-6 years in the Arab regions. Thus, it is essential that this gap be filled and encourage different intellectuals to replicate the study to fit other regions.


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Brumbaugh, K. M., & Smit, A. B. (2013). . Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 44(3), 306-319.

Law, J., Dennis, J. A., & Charlton, J. J. (2017). Speech and language therapy interventions for children with primary speech and/or language disorders. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2017(1). Web.

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Preston, J., & Edwards, M. L. (2010). . Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53(1), 44-60.

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Shriberg, L. D. (2003). Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 17(7), 501-505.

Shriberg, L. D., Tomblin, J. B., & McSweeny, J. L. (1999). . Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 42(6), 1461-1481.

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