Phonological processing skills in speech and language impaired children

S. Leitao, John Hogben, Janet Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Web of Science)


Phonological processing has been shown by many researchers to be strongly related to the acquisition of reading and spelling skills. Children with speech and language impairment appear to be at increased risk for phonological processing problems and hence literary difficulties. However, not all children with speech and language impairment experience difficulties: the literature is not clear as to which groups of speech and language impaired children are most severely affected nor which aspects of phonological processing are most likely to be impaired. Rigorous subject selection was employed to compare the performance of four groups of 20 children, aged approximately 6 years: speech-impaired (Speech); language-impaired (Language); speech and language impaired (Mixed); and children with normally developing language (Normal), by use of a battery of phonological processing tasks. The results supported the research that has shown speech and language impaired children to have weaker phonological processing skills than the general population. All the subjects in this sample appeared to be at risk: the Mixed children demonstrated the most difficulty followed by the Language group, with the Normal group performing the best. Whilst the Speech group as a whole performed significantly more poorly than the Normal group, it consisted of two levels of performance which, on post hoc analysis were shown to relate to the pattern of speech impairment exhibited by the child.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7303
JournalEuropean Journal of Disorders of Communication
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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