About minimal pairs and therapy to reduce phonological processes.

Phonological Processes can be categorized into three types: Assimilation Processes, Syllable Structure Processes, Substitution Processes. Assimilation Processes occur when the child changes one sound to become more like another sound. The processes that fall in this category include: Denasalization, Assimilation, Post-Vocalic Devoicing, and Pre-Vocalic Voicing. Syllable Structure Processes occur when the child makes changes to modify the syllabic structure of a word. The processes that fall in this category include: Syllable Reduction, Unstressed Syllable Deletion, Reduplication, Epenthesis, Cluster Reduction, Initial Consonant Deletion, and Final Consonant Deletion. Substitution Processes occur when the child substitutes one class of sound for another class of sound. The processes that fall in this category include: Affrication, Velar and Palatal Fronting, Backing, Depalatalization, Deaffrication, Alveolarization, Labialization, Gliding, Vocalization, and Stopping. If a child presents with multiple phonological processes, the processes should be addressed in the following order: Assimilation Processes, Syllable Structure Processes, and Substitution Processes.

Minimal pairs are a set of two words that differ by one phoneme. The minimal pair therapy approach is generally used for reduction of phonological processes, but can be used for auditory habilitation and awareness tasks. Children who present with a phonological disorder typically demonstrate difficulty acquiring phonological knowledge which allows them to express meaning. Appropriate phonological therapy is necessary to help rearrange the child’s linguistic system. This allows the child to organize sounds into classes and sequences into structures, which leads to a greater understanding of the phonological system.

During minimal pair therapy the clinician uses few prompts and increases natural instances of communication breakdowns. This allows the child to confront these breakdowns, which helps him not only identify errors he is making, but also correct those errors. When minimal pair therapy is used, the child begins to recognize patterns of speech sounds in words and understand how similarities and differences between sounds create differences in the meaning of words.

Minimal pair therapy should first begin with the child demonstrating auditory awareness of the spoken target words by pointing to the corresponding pictures when named. Directions for playing the “I’m Aware” game are located on page iiB. After the child demonstrates the ability to identify the spoken target words, the clinician moves to the “Say It!” game, where the child is given the chance to produce the target words. Directions for this game are located on pages iii and iiiB.


Each Game includes:

1 Spiral-Bound Flip Book
2 Sheets of Reusable Sun Stickers (decals)
1 Reusable Young Child Data Sheet
2 Reusable Older Child Data Sheets
1 Blank Sky Page for Sun Stickers **BONUS**
10 SLP Data Conversion Sheets
5 SLP Data Sheets


Game Directions



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