Contrastive Approaches

For Speech Therapy

Contrastive approaches for articulation therapy have been around for a long time! They are amazing for treating phonological disorders. However, there is more to contrastive approaches than just minimal pairs. The sound contrasts you choose will depend entirely on your client and their needs!

Top 4 contrastive approaches for speech therapy include:

  • Minimal Pairs
  • Multiple Oppositions
  • Maximal Oppositions 
  • Empty Set

Let's dive right into them

Contrastive Approaches For Speech Therapy

4 Contrastive Approaches For Speech Therapy

1. Minimal Pairs

Minimal pairs is the most widely known contrastive approach for speech therapy. 

What is it?

  • two words that differ by one sound
  • confront the child's error pattern
  • the words chosen are the child's error pattern (i.e., if the child is gliding /r/, the word pair would be "rock, wok").

When To Use Minimal Pairs

  • child with a phonological delay
  • child who has a few, common phonological process (i.e., gliding, stopping, cluster reduction)

How To Use Minimal Paris 

  • This depends on the child and their progress/need for cueing!
  • Sample Plan (each step increases in difficulty) 
    1. Auditory discrimination - (SLP says a word and the child points to the correct picture)
    2. One word at a time - The SLP says one word, child repeats (necessary cues provided). Then, the SLP says the other word in the pair and the child repeats.
    3. Pairs - the SLP says both words together and the child has to repeat the pair
    4. Teacher time - the child is the teacher and says a word. The SLP points to the corresponding picture.

2. Multiple Oppositions

What is it?

  • Treatment approach created by Dr Lynn Williams
  • Similar to minimal pairs but doesn't directly target a phonological process
  • Instead, contrasting word pairs are chosen based on a sound a child has with another sound that a child doesn't have AND is maximal different based on voice, place, and manner.
  • Idea is to create change and expand the child's limited speech system

When To Use Minimal Pairs

  • Moderate to severe phonological delay
  • Multiple phoneme collapses (a child replaces many sounds with one sound)
  • Missing many sounds in the child's personal sound inventory

How To Use Chose Targets For Multiple Oppositions Approach

  • First, map out the child's phoneme collapses (which sounds are the child substituting for one sound and mark the missing sounds based on voice, place, and manner)
  • Then, pick 4 sounds that differ the MOST from the collapsed sound. For example, if the child substitutes /h/ for many sounds (b would be maximally different as it is a bilabial, voiced, stop)
  • Create minimal pairs with the error sound and 4 other maximally different sounds
  • Each set of 4 will always contain the error sound and another sound
  • Therapy using multiple oppositions will be similar to the example in "minimal pairs" described above.

3. Maximal Oppositions

What is it?

  • contrast one sound the child has with an unknown sound
  • the unknown sound is maximal different based on voice, place, and manner

When To Use It

  • moderate to severe phonological disorder
  • the child is missing many sounds

How To Use Chose Targets For Multiple Oppositions Approach

  • First, map out the child's speech inventory on a manner, place, voice chart
  • Pick a sound the child has and contrast a sound the child doesn't have that is maximally different
  • Make "minimal pairs" with chose sound sound.
  • Therapy using maximal oppositions will be similar to the example in "minimal pairs" described above.

4. Empty Set

What is it?

  • contrast 2 sounds that the child doesn't have
  • the sounds chosen are maximally different based on (voice, manner, and place)

When To Use It

  • moderate to severe phonological disorder
  • the child is missing many sounds

How To Choose Word Pairs

  • make an inventory of all the sounds the child has/doesn't have
  • chose 2 sounds the child doesn't have and that are maximally different based on (voice, manner, and place)
  • create "minimal pairs" with the chosen sounds
  • Therapy with the empty set will be similar to the example in "minimal pairs" described above.

Materials 

Having the right materials for your therapy session is key! It makes all the difference between a good and great session AND it can save you stress and prep-time. 

At Speech Therapy Talk's Membership site, we have A LOT of new editions and I will be adding to them regularly.

As you know, I am all about no-print (save time and trees). Currently, I have
For printable worksheets, I have

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References

  • https://www2.asha.org/PRPSpecificTopic.aspx?folderid=8589935321§ion=Treatment
  • Williams, A. L. (2000b). Multiple oppositions: Theoretical foundations for an alternative contrastive intervention approach. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 9, 282–288.
  • Gierut, J.A. (1989) Maximal Opposition Approach to Phonological Treatment Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, Volume 54, 9-19.
  • Williams, A.L. McLeod, S. & McCauley R.J. (2010) Interventions for Speech Sound Disorders in Children Paul H Brookes Publishing Co