What Are Phonological Disorders?
A phonological disorder involves patterns of rule-based errors. It falls under the umbrella of a speech sound disorder.
Young children often utilize speech pattern simplifications when learning to talk. A young child may have a hard time with l blends, r blends, or s blends. In other words, an error pattern may involve a cluster word. An example of one such speech pattern simplification might be consonant cluster reduction, or leaving off a consonant sound in consonant clusters (i.e. saying ‘no’ for ‘snow’). A child’s speech intelligibility can be very impacted by consonant cluster reduction. It can be frustrating for children if they are not easily understood.
Another example of a phonological pattern is fronting (i.e. saying ‘tea’ for ‘key’).
However, by certain ages, most patterns should be extinguished.
A speech language pathologist is trained to diagnose a phonological disorder.
Read all about the different phonological processes.
How To Treat a Phonological Disorder
Speech therapists have several research-based intervention strategies available when treating a phonological disorder.
The Cycles Approach, created by Barbara Hodson, is one research-based approach for treating phonological disorders. Check out this CEU course to become trained in using the cycles approach.
Many speech therapists also enjoy using The Complexity Approach. When using this approach, complex, later-developing sounds or clusters, are targeted. Learn more about The Complexity Approach.
One effective treatment idea involves using minimal pairs. Minimal pair targets are words that differ by only one sound or feature. An example might be contrasting “no” with “snow”. Check out these suggested simple minimal pairs activities.
If you would like a deep dive into phonological approaches, you will love this article from The Informed SLP.
Speech Sounds- Word Lists for S Blends
The following word lists contain s blend cluster words for speech therapy. These articulation word lists allow the speech therapist to easily work on a target sound and speech goals in speech therapy at the word level. Or, have your student practice these words at the sentence level by generating their own sentences using a target word.
Quickly pull these word lists up during your speech therapy session. A simple way to motivate students is to pair articulation practice with a preferred game or activity.
OR, check out these s-blend minimal pairs.
Initial SK Words
Here is a list of sk cluster words in the initial position to use in speech therapy:
Medial SK Words
Here is a list of sk cluster words in the medial position to use in speech therapy (SK in the middle of a word):
Final SK Words
Here is a list of final blends sk cluster words in the final position to use in speech therapy (SK at the end of a word):
Initial SL Words
Here is a list of SL cluster words in the initial position to use in speech therapy:
Medial SL Words
Here is a list of SL cluster words in the medial position to use in speech therapy (SL in the middle of a word):
Final SL Words
Here is a list of final blends SL cluster words in the ending position to use in speech therapy (SL at the end of a word):
Initial SM Words
Here is a list of SM cluster words in the initial position to use in speech therapy (SM at the beginning of words):
Medial SM Words
Here is a list of SM cluster words for speech therapy in the medial position (SM in the middle of words):
- third baseman
Initial SN Words
Here is a list of SN s blend words in the initial position:
Initial SP Words
Here is a list of SP s blend words in the initial position (beginning SP words):
Medial SP Words
Here is a list of medial SP words (SP in the middle of a word):
Initial ST Words
Here is a list of ST consonant blends in initial positions to use in speech therapy:
Medial ST Words
This word list contains ST in the medial positions of words:
- bus stop
Final ST Words
Here is a list of final ST words to use during a speech therapy session:
Initial SW Words
Reference this SW s-blends list during speech therapy:
- Swiss cheese
S Blend Activities to Try in Articulation Therapy
Need some interactive activities to try using in speech therapy? Check out this article to see the 4 best cluster reduction activities for speech therapy.
If you are working with older students, then check out this great resource that targets s blends at the carryover level. These worksheets are a great way to practice s blends at a higher level!
Finally, these articulation manicure cards provide a ton of engaging practice for s blends and s clusters. Simply pick the desired play dough color and pair it with a target sound. Your student will say the target word, then smash some play dough on a nail. After saying all target words, the manicure will be complete! This will quickly become a favorite resource in your therapy room!
More Articulation Word Lists for Speech Therapy
Do you need to target a different sound in speech and language? Don’t miss these other articulation word lists! They also provide suggestions for effective activities that allow for extra practice of individual sounds and phonological processes.