Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences & Disorders


Investigations within the field of child phonology- have been concerned with the acquisition of a phonemic repertoire as well as the developmental rules for combining phonemes sequentially. Children acquire the adult phonological system by simplifing their productions through the application of phonological processes. Speech-language pathologists target phonological processes for remediation when they are atypical of children's developmental stage or when the processes are unusual in form.

A recently developed hand symbol system called Visual Phonics (1985) may enhance the remediation of phonological processes. Support for this proposition comes from studies which have incorporated, with some success, the use of manual sign language with speech-language intervention.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of Visual Phonics (1985) in the remediation of selected phonological disorders of five children ranging in age from three to four years. The children's pre- and post-intervention performance were assessed through the administration of the Assessment of Phonological Processes-Revised (Hodson, 1986). A 50-minute pre-baseline period of measurement was used to determine the mean percentages of incorrect productions for the targeted phonological patterns. This was followed by eight weeks of intervention via three treatment modes: an experimental condition, consisting of the application of Visual Phonics (1985) with a cycles (Hodson, 1986) approach to intervention; another experimental condition, consisting of the cycles approach to intervention without Visual Phonics; and the control condition which was monitored but did not receive either intervention or Visual Phonics. Post-baseline and maintenance measurements were administered one and two weeks, respectively, after intervention.

Qualitative and quantitative results from the investigation were inconclusive in attributing beneficial effects to the use of Visual Phonics during intervention for phonological disorders. Parent and clinician report suggested that Visual Phonics may have enhanced the children's awareness and memory for the target phonemes. Based on these results, future research recommendations were proposed to examine the effects of Visual Phonics.

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