Gage

posted May 21, 2015, 11:40 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 21, 2015, 11:40 AM ]
Gage is a sweet, fun-loving, four-year-old boy who has been attending our clinic since March 2010 due to a mild-moderate phonological disorder. Gage’s parents were worried about his speech development as his sister had speech and language issues and was seen at our clinic for severe Childhood Apraxia of Speech. At the time of his evaluation Gage was intelligible about 50% of the time with familiar and unfamiliar adults according to his mother. Our clinic encouraged Gage’s mother to pursue a speech-language evaluation within his school district. However, he was denied services because his speech development was not considered “severe” enough to merit intervention. 
While Gage’s medical, speech, and language history were insignificant, testing revealed that his sound system was not developing at the rate expected of a four year old. He continued to use a number of phonological processes that are expected to stop at an early age. Some of these error patterns included velar fronting, in which a child uses “t” or “d” for “k” and “g”. Thus, “car” becomes “tar” or “girl” becomes “dirl”.  Another phonological process that Gage used was stopping of the fricatives “v”, “f”, “th” and “s”.   While stopping of some fricative sounds is expected to linger through about five years of age, Gage was continuing to use a “p” for “f”, as in “pish” for “fish”. He also used consonant cluster reduction, so a word such as “stars” became “das”. In addition, Gage dropped the ending sounds of words and spoke with a rapid rate. The accumulation of these error patterns significantly impacted Gage’s intelligibility. 
Since the initiation of treatment Gage has remediated quickly. After a few months of targeted treatment he now uses the “k”, “g”, “f”, “s”-blends and final consonants correctly in his spontaneous speech. Currently, he is working on “th” sounds at the beginning and ends of words, as well as reducing his rate of speech to increase his intelligibility. His mother has noticed a significant improvement in his speech. “Ms. Rachel has been a big part of our lives and we have been blessed to be able to have two children get help with their speech skills.” We will miss Gage when he is finished, but we are happy that he has made great progress in the past few months!