Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Speech-Language Pathology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Brenda Louw

Committee Members

Kelly Farquharson, Chaya Guntupalli, Cathy Galyon


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs’) perceptions regarding the concept of severity of speech sound disorder (SSD).

Methods: An online survey of 40 questions was created using REDCap® and disseminated to currently practicing SLPs across the United States. A total of 296 responses were completed, and data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and coding according to grounded theory.

Results: The top five factors SLPs consider when determining SSD severity are types of errors, intelligibility, perceptual judgment, normative data, and percentile rankings. Most SLPs were unfamiliar with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (WHO, 2001), which was reflected in how they prioritized the ICF component of body function over activity/participation and personal factors.

Conclusion: SLPs need a standard, biopsychosocial model for rating SSD severity, clinical training and continuing education on the ICF, and exposure to holistic tools for assessing children with SSD.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Saturday, June 15, 2024