Articulation Procedure Basics

By Pam Marshalla

Q: When a child can produce his new sound correctly, do we go for the next level – syllabic level – in the same session? Don’t we have to dedicate a whole session for one goal to be sure that we have achieved the desired result?

I always do as much as possible in every session I have with my clients.

I try to work on phoneme, syllable, word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, and conversation all in the same session if possible. When the client is succeeding with a level, I bump it up to the next level. I am always pushing him forward. I move ahead one step at a time, until he is just about to falter, then I back up a few steps, then I move forward again. Step forward, step back, step forward some more, step back a little again. Two steps forward, one step back, like that. This is what all the old-time writers in articulation therapy taught. Sometimes we hold back, sometimes we push forward. Such is the art of therapy. Experience teaches us how to manage these things.


You might benefit from the following outstanding book about basic speech-language therapy procedures: Hegde, M. N. (1998) Treatment Procedures in Communication Disorders. Austin: Pro-Ed.

Also, if you have never read an old-fashioned articulation therapy book, you must! None of the new textbooks in articulation and phonology contain the rich descriptions of the therapy process that the old books did. Here are three of my favorites on traditional articulation therapy. Borrow one from a library or a veteran SLP, or buy one used on-line:

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