Intensity in Phonological Intervention: Is There a Prescribed Amount?

Document Type


Publication Date



Despite a number of studies that have demonstrated positive outcomes for inducing clinical change in children with speech sound disorders (SSD), there is a need to address the question of whether resources are being applied in an optimal manner. As a consequence, there has been a call to look within interventions to examine parameters that may contribute to intervention outcomes; specifically the intensity of intervention (dose, frequency, duration, and cumulative intervention intensity). In this paper, empirical evidence from three intervention studies using multiple oppositions primarily, and a second contrastive approach, minimal pairs, is reported with regard to the parameters of intervention intensity. The findings indicated that greater intensity yields greater treatment outcomes. Further, quantitative and qualitative changes in intensity occur as intervention progresses, and there were differences in intensity based on severity of the SSD. Based on these data, suggestions were made toward establishing some prescribed amounts of intensity to affect treatment outcomes for children with SSD.