Assessment and Differential Diagnosis of Speech Sound Disorders in Children

presented by Lynn Williams

Accreditation Check:

Speech Sound disorders (SSD) are quite diverse and range in both severity and type of disorder. Given the complexity of SSD, appropriate assessment will have clinical implications for selecting the most appropriate intervention targets and intervention approach. Utilizing an evidence-based practice framework, tests are selected on the basis of the presenting needs, concerns, and characteristics of the child’s speech. Thus, a key outcome of a comprehensive speech assessment is an analysis of the test data and speech samples to identify predominant error patterns, make a differential diagnosis, determine appropriate treatment targets, and design an efficacious intervention plan. It is vital for SLPs to be knowledgeable and experienced in administering every component of a comprehensive assessment. Yet, in the "real world,” it is usually not feasible to carry out all aspects of such an evaluation on every child. Thus, the SLP must also know how to select those components that are most applicable to a given client’s speech profile, sometimes adjusting the choice of assessment tools as the evaluation proceeds and further speech strengths and weaknesses are revealed.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Lynn Williams, PhD, CCC-SLP

    Speech-language pathologist Dr. Lynn Williams is a clinical scientist with interests in models of assessment and intervention of communication disorders in children, and translational research and implementation science. Dr. Williams’ research focus is primarily with children with speech sound disorders, with corollaries of this research interest that address emergent literacy skills for children living in poverty, the impact of communication disabilities on children’s life activities, and social and cultural aspects of communication disorders in children. She is currently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences at East Tennessee State University and a Professor in the Department of Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology. As an international expert on intervention for speech sound disorders in children, she has secured $1.5 million in competitive grants; developed resources to facilitate speech-language pathologists’ implementation of intervention (e.g., created the Sound Contrasts in Phonology (SCIP) software program, 2006; 2016), and has a strong track record of over 175 publications (books, book chapters, peer reviewed articles) and presentations. Dr. Williams is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is currently serving as ASHA Vice President for Academic Affairs in Speech-Language Pathology (2016-2018).

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Background

    1. Background

    In this chapter Dr. Williams will introduce and classify Sound Speech Disorders (SSD) and discuss the importance of time management and the difference of traditional and phonological approaches within SLP training. She will also review the importance of the critical age hypothesis for remediation of speech.

  2. Assessment and Analysis

    2. Assessment and Analysis

    In chapter two, Dr. Williams will show you how to evaluate basic speech assessments for the characterization of phonological disorders through multiple perspectives. She will also discuss Systemic Phonological Analysis of Child Speech (SPACS) and help you determine the relationship between function and communication disorders.

  3. Case Study

    3. Case Study

    Dr. Williams will analyze a Place-Voice-Manner assessment on a case example patient and teach you the significance of Phenome Collapse and how it is measured. She will also analyze a Place-Voice-Manner assessment on a case example patient and demonstrate the significance of Phenome Collapse and how it is measured.

  4. Question and Answer Session

    4. Question and Answer Session

    Dr. Williams and Julie Dunlap from the University of Washington further discuss the information presented in the course and discuss how to go beyond the basic speech analysis in your practice.