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Developmental Phonological Disorders
Foundations of Clinical Practice

Susan Rvachew, PhD, Françoise Brosseau-Lapré, MSc (A), S-LP(c)


928 pages, B/W With Color Insert, Softcover, 8.5 x 11"
ISBN13: 978-1-59756-377-2
Release date: 04/15/2012



Developmental Phonological Disorders is a graduate-level textbook on both phonological development and phonological disorders. With a foreword by Dr. Raymond D. Kent, the book provides a deep review of the knowledge base necessary for the competent assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of developmental phonological disorders. Throughout the book, normal and atypical phonological learning in natural and therapeutic contexts are presented as the emergent property of biological constraints and learning mechanisms in dynamic interaction with environmental inputs.

The eleven chapters organized in three parts cover seminal studies and leading-edge research, allowing the speech-language pathologist to design interventions that are adapted to the unique needs of each child while being consistent with the best research evidence. Chapters contain learning objectives and margin notes to support learning of concepts by the student and demonstrations and case studies to promote application to clinical problem solving.

The book is also a useful reference for practicing clinicians.

Professors using this book are saying:

  • "Very comprehensive. Clearly presented."
  • "It is comprehensive - covers nearly every study that has ever been published on phonological disorders!"
  • "The content is EXCELLENT."

Dr. Rvachew's Developmental Phonological Disorders blog is HERE.

Connect with Dr. Rvachew on Twitter at @ProfRvach.


  • Rebecca Waring, Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Melbourne, International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, (2013):
    "Developmental Phonological Disorders: Foundations of Clinical Practice is intended for an ambitiously wide audience, including undergraduate students, new clinicians, and experienced speech and language therapists (SLTs) seeking professional development... [Authors] Susan Rvachew and Francoise Brosseau-Lapre, who are lecturers and researchers at McGill University (Canada), have created a text that has something for everyone. The authors have successfully integrated a wealth of cross-discipline knowledge (think genetics, linguistics, neurolinguistics and neurosciences) to weave a state-of-the-art account of normal and impaired phonological development...The greatest achievement of Developmental Phonological Disorders is the sheer wealth of theoretical knowledge and clinical know how offered in one volume...[It] is certainly worth the considerable space it will take up on any paediatric SLT’s bookcase."

  • Mary Auckland, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, Symbol UK Ltd., Child Language and Teaching Therapy, 0(0) 1-5, (2012):
    "...The book is intended for undergraduate, graduate speech and language therapists (SLTs) and professional development...The book does go into delay and motor difficulties, and touches on dyspraxia, but also refers to thorough assessment and individual analysis of the child’s speech sounds, before hypothesizing on the child’s sound system and therefore the intervention strategies to pursue. It also acknowledges the reality of overlap of difficulties and provides useful information for differential diagnosis...[T]his is an extremely well researched book. In fact the chapters on development in this book are extremely informative and will give invaluable insight to anyone working with chwPhonD. Also the authors do not take a narrow view, but they present a very broad view posing multiple models (e.g. a biopsychosocial model), with an overall holistic approach.

    The authors’ viewpoints undoubtedly make a significant contribution and advancement to the topic of phonological difficulty...One of the things most welcome about this book is the evidence base it provides. For a professional that has difficulty supplying evidence for its practice, this is a treasure trove. Wherever possible, the authors quote research support. However this is not a book driven by purely academic interest. The subtitle of the book is ‘Foundations of Clinical Practice’, and this description is justified. Both authors are experienced SLTs/SLPs, and one feels that the research is not the primary interest, but a means to an end. The authors integrate evidence with clinical practice, and their experience enables them to inform practice. This book makes a huge contribution to the understanding of and the intervention for children with phonological difficulties."

  • Andrea MacLeod, Universite de Montreal, (2013):
    "This text seems to be an exhaustive review of Developmental Phonological Disorders."

  • Martine Smith, Trinity College Dublin, (2013):
    "It is in many ways the text I have been waiting for."


Primary Subject: Speech-Language Pathology / Speech/Articulation
Audience Level: Academic


Foreword by Ray D. Kent

Part I: Phonology from a Developmental Perspective
Chapter 1: Describing Phonological Knowledge at Multiple Levels of Representation
Chapter 2: Speech Perception Development
Chapter 3: Development of Speech Motor Control
Chapter 4: Phonological Development

Part II: A Holistic Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
Chapter 5: Assessment of Children with Developmental Phonological Disorders
Chapter 6: Speech Sample Analysis
Chapter 7: Nature of Developmental Phonological Disorders
Chapter 8: Treatment Planning

Part III: Intervention at Multiple Levels of Representation
Chapter 9: Input-Oriented Approaches to Intervention
Chapter 10: Output-Oriented Approaches to Intervention
Chapter 11: Phonological Approaches to Intervention

About The Authors

Susan Rvachew, PhD

Susan Rvachew, PhD, S-LP(C), worked as a speech-language pathologist in pediatric health care settings for 20 years before taking a position at McGill University, where she is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her research is focused on phonological development and disorders and the development of more effective interventions to treat phonological disorders in children and prevent reading disability in this population. She has published over 50 journal articles and book chapters describing the speech perception, speech production, and/or phonological awareness skills of infants, children, and adults.

Françoise Brosseau-Lapré, MSc (A), S-LP(c)

Françoise Brosseau-Lapré, MScA, S-LP (C), has worked as a speech-language pathologist in pediatric health care settings since obtaining a master’s degree in speech-language pathology in 2002 from McGill University. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at McGill University. Her research focuses on French phonological development and disorders, as well as efficacy of interventions aimed at improving the phonological skills of preschool francophone children with developmental phonological disorders.

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