Severe speech sound disorders: An integrated multimodal intervention

Amie M. King, Julie A. Hengst, Laura S. DeThorne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study introduces an integrated multimodal intervention (IMI) and examines its effectiveness for the treatment of persistent and severe speech sound disorders (SSD) in young children. The IMI is an activity-based intervention that focuses simultaneously on increasing the quantity of a child's meaningful productions of target words and providing supports to shape the quality of natural speech productions of target sounds by systematically incorporating the full range of each child's communicative repertoire, including augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems and natural speech and language. Method: A multiple-probe single-subject research design was used to assess the effectiveness of the IMI for 3 boys (ages 4 to 8) with moderate to severe SSD, all of whom used speech-generating AAC. Results: All 3 participants demonstrated an increase in the amount of speech they produced (i.e., quantity) and an increase in the production accuracy of their target speech sounds (i.e., quality). Conclusion: This study demonstrated that simultaneously targeting natural speech and AAC speech using an integrated multimodal approach was effective in producing positive changes in both communication and speech production goals. These findings strongly suggest that integrating multimodal speech-generating AAC with traditional speech intervention was effective at supporting natural speech production for these children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-210
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • Augmentative and alternative communication
  • Intervention
  • Language disorders
  • Speech sound disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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