Treating Cluttered Speech in a Young Child

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Re: Thank You/Question

From: Lynne Shields
Date: 28 Apr 2010
Time: 10:50:56 -0500
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Erica, Thanks for your kind words and some good questions. First of all, we have not settled on 'cluttering' as a diagnosis for Claudia due to her young age. That being said, I think that treating her speech as we would treat cluttering has benefited her. I suspect that addressing her speech in this way was not considered previously because she presented with a significant phonological disorder and a language delay, at the age of three, and it made sense to treat her using phonological rule therapy to try to increase intelligibility of speech before addressing other concerns. In fact, when I first met Claudia, I had the student clinician begin by re-evaluating her phonological skills to see where to begin treatment that semester. I assumed we would be proceeding along the same lines. It wasn't until I looked at the test results and saw a significant discrepancy between the test results (and the reports of significant improvement from previous treatment) and the poor quality of her speech intelligibility that I began to think that a change in approach was needed. I believe that her diagnosis of mild autism is accurate. Her mother had suspected it early on and we see many signs that point to the diagnosis, as well. Given the difficulty others had in understanding her speech, I suspect that the pragmatic problems were not initially seen as clearly outside of her home environment. Her case points to the importance of regular re-evaluation of treatment, as it progresses, to insure that we are serving our clients in the best possible way. Regards, Lynne

Last changed: 05/05/10