A Systematic Perspective for Assessment and Intervention: A Case Study

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A systemic perspective was employed in completing a phonological analysis and developing an intervention plan for Jarrod, a 7;0 year old child who exhibited a severe speech sound disorder characterized by inconsistency. Results of the Systemic Phonological Analysis of Child Speech (SPACS) revealed a limited sound system that was characterized by phonotactic inventory constraints, positional constraints, and sequence constraints. Mapping the child-to-adult sound systems through phoneme collapses revealed a logical and symmetrical system that maintained systematicity, yet permitted variability. Based on the organizational principles suggested by the phoneme collapses, targets were identified for intervention using the distance metric approach, which is based on the function of sounds within a given system rather than the characteristics of a given sound, and assumes that targets will interact dynamically with the child's unique sound system. Finally, a multiple oppositions treatment approach intended to facilitate learning across phoneme collapses and lead to system-wide phonological restructuring was described.