Cycles Approach

Cycles Approach to treating multiple articulation errors in children with poor speech intelligibility

Children often demonstrate errors in the production of sounds like /s/, /r/ and /l/. When a child presents with a few specific sound errors, a traditional articulation treatment is warranted. However, for some children the sound error includes a wide range of sounds and severely impacts their speech intelligibility. Their errors often follow patterns such as omission of final sounds in words (e.g. saying “ca” for “cat.”). Hodson and Paden (1991) proposed the “Cycles Approach” in which these patters are targeted in a specific sequence. The treatment includes specific treatment strategies used in each session such as auditory bombardment, a communication activity, drills and a generalization activity. Evidence suggests that treatment approaches that target patterns of sounds rather than each specific misarticulated sound for children with multiple errors are more efficient thereby reducing the overall treatment time. The more dramatic impact of using an approach such as the Cycles Approach is a significant impact in the child’s speech intelligibility. This video (Thank You, Sonali!) is a “Before and After Cycles Program” of a child (age 3 years). The little girl demonstrated multiple sound errors using essentially vowels to communicate. Following several months of intervention, she could produce complete sentences that are intelligible even to unfamiliar persons. The remarkable difference in her speech is impressive evidence of the overall effectiveness of the program.