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Short- and Long-term Outcomes for Children with Speech Sound Disorders

Barbara Lewis, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University
Published online 03-20-07 in the Canadian Language & Literacy Research Network in their Encyclopedia of Language and Literacy Development
The most common types of speech or language problems reported in children are speech sound disorders (SSDs). SSDs include both errors of articulation or phonetic structure (errors due to poor motor abilities associated with the production of speech-sounds) and phonological errors (errors in applying linguistic rules to combine sounds to form words). SSDs are highly prevalent in preschool children, approximately 16% of children at 3 years of age (Campbell, Dollaghan, & Rockette, 2003) with an estimated 3.8% of children continuing to present with speech delay at 6 years of age (Shriberg, Tomblin, & McSweeny, 1999). More than half of these children encounter later academic difficulties in language, reading, and spelling (Lewis, Freebairn, & Taylor, 2000; Bishop & Adams, 1990; Lewis, Ekelman, & Aram, 1989; Flax, Realpe-Bonilla, Hirsch, Brzustowicz, Bartlett, & Tallal, 2003; Aram & Hall, 1990) and often require other types of remedial services, with 50-70% exhibiting general academic difficulty through grade 12 (Gierut, 1998).
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