Until some definitive research is available, and we hope that this challenge will help create it, it would seem wise for the public school therapists to follow these suggestions:

1. Do not concentrate on the error sounds alone; help the child know that he says many sounds very well; give him programmed materials to say that will be perfect.

It is not a pleasant thought but sometimes our unpleasant confrontations produce the most progress.

the latter group of children had the general impression that most of what they said was wrong. They had failed so much that they could not recognize the words they had never misarticulated. Does public school therapy with its emphasis on competition and games tend to create such impressions of failure? Does it provide too much concentration on the errors of sounds?

Does it

make these children so error-conscious that the errors become fixed?

Finally, in applying our predictive screening test of articulation mastery to a group of children currently receiving public school therapy, we found, to our surprise, that it could not predict success in therapy even though it does identify the children who will overcome their errors without therapy. Does this mean that speech therapy is not facilitating the normal processes of articulatory maturation but actually interfering with it? Another unpleasant thought! Our limited survey of dismissal dates procured by a small sampling of public school therapists shows that on the average only about 40% of the case load is dismissed by the end of the second year of therapy. Our own study shows that over 50% of such children will overcome all their errors without any therapy at all. Why this discrepancy? Does speech correction correct or does it merely interfere?

4. Do not enroll a child for speech therapy year after year. He may need a vacation to permit the normal processes of articulatory maturation to get going again.

5. Do more deep testing and build your therapy on the key words.

6. Don’t build a defective sound into the self-concept. RESOURCES

1. McDonald, E.T. Articulation Testing and Treatment: A Motor-Sensory Approach. Pittsburgh; Stanwyn House, 1964


2. Milisen, R. “A Rationale for Articulation Disorder” Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders. Monograph supplement no. 4, 1954

3. Rice, D.B. “Articulation Screening and Evaluation in Grades 1 and 2” Indiana Speech and Hearing Therapist. October, 1957, 16-19

4. Czuchna, P. “Self-recognition of Misarticulations Among Children with Articulation Disorders” M.A. Thesis, University of Miami (Ohio) 1965


2. Reduce the sense of failure by your own faith and permissiveness; make sure the child has more successes than failures and knows it; reduce the emphasis on competing with others.

3. Do not enroll the failing child in the same group therapy but give him individual attention and intensive therapy or refer him to a college or community speech and hearing center where he can get it.

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