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Speech Sound Development: A Late Eight Update

presented by Ken Bleile

Accrediting Body:

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Ken Bleile receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.


Non-Financial: Ken Bleile has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Accreditation Check:
The Late Eight are the consonants acquired last by children learning English as a first language, and are the consonants most likely to challenge children and adults learning English as a non-native language. Over 90% of school clinicians work with students who experience difficulty learning one or more of the late eight. This course addresses current issues arising in treating the late eight, including: Why are the late eight late? Do the late eight belong in school? Should the late eight be treated using an articulation approach? How can students with good speech perception have discrimination problems? Should a clinician treat a stimulable sound? What are good phonetic placement and shaping techniques? What is the most important reason a person improves in treatment?

Meet Your Instructor

Ken Bleile, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Ken Bleile is a university professor at the University of Northern Iowa. He received his advanced degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa before completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Bleile is the recipient of the State of Iowa’s Regent’s Scholar Award and UNI’s Fine…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Why are the late eight late?

The chapter identifies which consonants belong to the late eight. The discussion focuses on why certain consonants are late acquisitions. The tradeoff between size of consonant inventory and word length is described.

2. What is speech discrimination and should the late eight be treated using an articulation approach?

The chapter argues that students’ discrimination problems almost always are unrelated to problems in speech perception. Students’ “discrimination problems” really may be problems with attention and focus. Techniques to promote discrimination are provided.

3. Stimulability and phonetic placement and shaping

The chapter defines phonetic placement and shaping. It is explained why not all students respond well to the same technique. Demonstrations of techniques are provided as well.

4. The most important reason a person improves in treatment and conclusions

The chapter explores the idea of which factor contributes most to treatment success, the approach or the clinician? The educational and clinician implications of both positions are discussed. While recognizing that both are important, it is hypothesized that the clinician is the primary factor in treatment success.

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