Philip Combiths, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Iowa
Topic: Promoting System-Wide Change for Bilingual Children with Phonological Disorder
Phonological disorder is one of the most common developmental communication impairments, yet bilingual children do not have equitable access to the efficient treatment options currently available for their monolingual English-speaking peers. A growing but homogeneous evidence base presents a case for targeting more complex, later-acquired phonological (i.e., speech sound) structures to stimulate broader growth across a child’s phonological system. However, we must also critically examine the scope of children affected and evaluate treatment effects across a linguistically diverse population. In particular, intervention for speech sound disorders in bilingual children must consider both of the child’s phonological systems and the interactions between them (i.e., transfer). This talk presents research aimed at this issue by evaluating speech sound targets in intervention for Spanish-English bilingual children to determine their system-wide impact–both within the treated language and via transfer to the untreated language. Variable learning trajectories and clinical implications of broad phonological growth and transfer are discussed.
This research was funded by NIDCD F31 DC017697 and NIDCD R21 DC017201.