Phonological Awareness and Types of Sound Errors in Preschoolers With Speech Sound Disorders

Preston, Jonathan; Louise Edwards, Mary
February 2010
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Feb2010, Vol. 53 Issue 1, p44
Academic Journal
Purpose: Some children with speech sound disorders (SSD) have difficulty with literacy-related skills, particularly phonological awareness (PA). This study investigates the PAskills of preschoolers with SSD by using a regression model to evaluate the degree to which PA can be concurrently predicted by types of speech sound errors. Method: Preschoolers with SSD (n = 43) participated in PA and speech sound production assessment. Errors from a 125-item picture naming task were coded in 2 ways: (a) considering all consonant errors equally (percentage of consonants correct [PCC]) and (b) using a 3-category system that captures component features of sound errors (typical sound changes, atypical sound changes, and distortions). PA tasks included rhyme matching, onset matching, onset segmentation and matching, and blending. Results: Variance in a PA composite score could be predicted partly by vocabulary and age (33%). Atypical sound changes accounted for an additional 6% of variance in PA, but distortions and typical errors did not account for significant variance. When the same consonant errors were analyzed using PCC, speech errors did not predict significant variance in PA. Conclusions: Poorer PA is associated with lower receptive vocabularies and more atypical sound errors. Results are interpreted in the context of the accuracy of phonological representations.


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