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Thecommunicationtrust.org.ukSection 4 > Different types of speech, language and communication needs > Children with phonological delay/disorder Helping to access the phonics screening check A child with a phonological delay/disorder has Children with phonological difficulties are likely to find it very hard accessing the check because they haven’t mastered the phonological skills required for speech development, and these are the same as those required for learning literacy. It may be appropriate for some children with significant phonological difficulties to be disapplied from the check.
• Affects the child’s sound system meaning their speech is • Isn’t primarily caused by physical disabilities • Is often part of language delay/disorder/impairment but may It might be necessary to use alternative Children with phonological difficulties are likely to have difficulties with all aspects of phonological awareness including discriminating between sounds, holding several sounds in their short-term memories and blending sounds. Both real and • Compiling a list of simple words that Phonological delay is used when a child has patterns of speech are within the child’s sound system to use as a screen which are more typical of a younger child. The sound system is developing normally, but at a much slower rate than expected. Phonological disorder will involve some delay, but also the use of phonological processes that are atypical, inconsistent or not following the expected pattern of phonological development. This is likely to make the child less clear, will be more persistent Section 4 > Different types of speech, language and communication needs > Children with phonological delay/disorder You should also consider the following in your literacy work with children who have a phonological delay/disorder: • Can the child make a Phoneme Grapheme correspondence Some children with phonological difficulties may be able to show between the graphemes and sounds (both consonants and phonic knowledge of the speech sounds that they regularly use in the right way. A speech and language therapist will be able to supply details about a child’s speech and phonological awareness skills. • Can the child indicate with sign or gesture (Cued Articulation Depending on the nature and degree of phonological difficulties or Jolly Phonics) when shown a grapheme, even for speech children are likely to have difficulties with: • Can the child point to the grapheme for a single spoken phoneme (similarly can they manually identify the onset for a • Holding the sounds in their working memory, so they will have difficulties being able to break up the sounds and remember them to then blend them together • Can the child recognise correct and incorrect productions of • Producing speech sound clusters (for example, ‘s’ + ‘n’ as in ‘snake’; • Can the child match a written word to a picture when they are, given a choice of several pictures and one check word? • Higher level aspects of phonics, for example, split digraphs and dipthongs, although production of single vowels may be possible 34 Claessen et al, 2007; Sutherland and Gillon, 2007 Section 4 > Different types of speech, language and communication needs > Children with phonological delay/disorder Children with phonological difficulties have underlying difficulties Children with phonological difficulties will be helped by any visual with all speech processing skills and so will need a lot of extra approaches and programmes that allow staff and child to refer to support and practice with phonological awareness skills including: sounds through gesture or sign. They will also benefit from colour coded systems as visual reminders of language structures or of Awareness of their own speech sounds and language abilities (metaphonic and metalinguistic awareness) are also essential; ensuring the child has the necessary concepts and vocabulary to For children with phonological difficulties, cumulative blending is more helpful than sounding each letter out separately, because it sounds more like the target word. An example is: ‘sss’, ‘i’, ‘ssi’, ‘ssi-t’, ‘sit’. This is very important in the early stages of introducing ✔ Blending and segmenting simple single phonemes (excluding the blending of simple consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words.
Children with phonological difficulties may always find a phonic approach to reading difficult. For this reason it’s important to incorporate a range of different approaches including whole word reading, common spelling patterns, explicit teaching of reading and spelling rules and comprehension monitoring.
Section 4 > Different types of speech, language and communication needs > Children with phonological delay/disorder An evidence resource to inform next steps Additional resources and further support • Most children whose speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) that are not resolved by 5.6 years have Dean, E., Howell, J., Hill, A., and Waters, D, (1990), Metaphon difficulties with learning to read,35 so early identification and resource pack, Slough: NFER Nelson (Minimal pair therapy, Maximal pair therapy, phonological therapy – also useful • Phonological awareness is a vital foundation skill in learning for introducing the language to refer to sounds and sound • Phonological awareness at 3.6 – 5.0 years is the best Black Sheep Press - publishes (as paper or CD) consonant worksheets, pairs in pictures and phonological awareness sheets - www.blacksheeppress.co.uk/acatalog/Speech.html • Not all children with phonological difficulties will have difficulty with literacy acquisition but many will, particularly Passy, J, (2007) Cued Articulation and Cued Vowels, Ponteland: those with rhyme, alliteration and syllable segmentation STASS Publications. Booklets, DVD, Cards and wall charts on how to ‘see a sound’ - www.stasspublications.co.uk/index.
php?cPath=22 • Early phonological and metaphonological intervention can help with understanding and use of speech sounds and clear Hughes, S, and Ramsay, N, Bigmouth Sound Pack, Ponteland: speech, therefore supporting literacy acquisition 39 STASS, A friendly character who shows children how to produce sounds (articulograms) - www.stasspublications.co.uk/ • Children whose speech isn’t following typical patterns are most at risk of long term literacy difficulties 40 Jolly Phonics - http://jollylearning.co.uk • Care must be taken not to focus just on speech sounds. Language is also needed to support both decoding and text comprehension 41 35 Bishop, D.V.M. and Adams, 199036 Catts, H., 1989; Stackhouse, 200037 Hesketh, 200438 Holm et al, 200839 Bernhardt and Major, 200540 Bernhardt and Major, 200541 Denne et al, 2005 Section 4 > Different types of speech, language and communication needs > Children with phonological delay/disorder Yasmin has a phonological disorder. Her teaching staff find understanding her very difficult and she has regular speech and language therapy support. Yasmin was able to do some of the items on the phonics screen - those that contained the sounds that she is able to say. However on some items it was difficult for the adult administering the check to know if she had blended the sounds correctly or not as she cannot say all sounds the right way. What helps YasminTo help, staff used a signing system that represented sounds when they spoke, Cued Articulation. Seeing the sounds as well as hearing them helped Yasmin to remember what she had heard and gave her longer to process the information. Yasmin was also helped by a very systematic approach to learning phonics; staff needed to build in opportunities for over learning and revision and build on previous knowledge. Multi-sensory approaches and hands on manipulation of sounds using resources such as phoneme frames and wooden letters also helped her to process and read the target words.
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