Handbook on Children's Speech: Development, Disorders, and Variations

First Edition

Raymond D. Kent

Details: 495 pages, B&W, Hardcover, 7" x 10"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-620-4

© 2024 | Available


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Written by renowned basic and clinical scientist, Raymond D. Kent, the Handbook on Children’s Speech: Development, Disorders, and Variations provides comprehensive and systematic coverage of the topic of how speech develops and how it can be disordered or otherwise, a departure from typical patterns of a mainstream dialect. The book emphasizes relevant biology and psychology of speech development; contemporary models of spoken language; typical speech development; bilingualism and dialect; motor learning and motor control; clinical assessments of articulation, phonology, voice, prosody, and intelligibility; populations in which speech disorders and differences often occur; and methods and strategies for prevention and treatment. 

The Handbook covers both speech development and pediatric speech disorders focusing on the ages of birth to puberty. Because speech disorders in children occur against a complex developmental background, the understanding of these disorders requires knowledge about how speech develops and how it is affected in children with disorders or with exposure to languages other than American English. A major theme of the book is that speech development is a constructive, goal-directed phenomenon that weaves together several different processes having their own individual trajectories that generally reach maturity only in puberty or adolescence.

For clinicians, researchers, and students, this book will serve as a valuable compendium of the many different tools and methods that have been developed to study speech development in diverse populations and to assess and treat speech disorders and variations.


"This helpful text takes my breath away! Available in hard back and as an e-book, it is at once considered, comprehensive, contemporary and above all, clear, concise, compelling reading. It will take pride of place on Speech-Language Pathologists’ (SLPs’) Speech and Language Therapists’ (SLTs’) bookshelves alongside, and complementing, child speech books with a more detailed intervention focus. 

The author’s encyclopaedic knowledge of children’s speech development, disorders, and differences from babies to adolescents allows him to navigate oceans of clinically relevant, evidence-based information. Positioning implementation science and evidence-based practice as equally important aspects of assessment and intervention, he gently steers the reader away from the inevitable flotsam and jetsam of time-wasting, fruitless approaches and procedures that litter our field.

His recognized handle on the theoretical underpinnings of the work we do with children with speech sound disorders and the sprawling bounty of published research are obvious in these pages, where he reveals a knack for expressing complex ideas and information in elegant user-friendly language. This clarity of expression is enhanced by Plural Publishing’s production team’s meticulous editing and crisp layout, the use of well-placed headings, informative diagrams, figures, and tables, carefully positioned definitions, and a concluding summary rounding off each chapter.

Kent’s passion for the topic and commitment to professionalism and scholarship permeate the handbook’s 495 pages, comprising 336 pages of text plus three pertinent appendixes (the IPA, Oral Mechanism Examination, and Cranial Nerve Summary), references, and a comprehensive index.

With nary a wasted word, Ray Kent’s Handbook on Children’s Speech is set to become as much an SLP/SLT classic as the 1957 Travis Handbook, appreciated by academics, clinical phonologists, and SLP/SLT practitioners, researchers, and students worldwide."
—Caroline Bowen, AM, PhD, CPSP, Speech-Language Pathologist, Australia

"The Handbook on Children’s Speech is the first reference work to provide an overview of this burgeoning area of research and clinical advancement.

The text provides an up to date and comprehensive resource on data related to speech development for children.  It covers development across a wide range of areas including phonetics, speech perception, linguistics, motor control, and cognition. 

For advanced students and scholars, this handbook serves as a valuable and convenient quick reference.  It is very clearly written and may also be helpful to some general audiences.

The textbook features a speech system-based discussion of principles of speech assessment, including behavioral and instrumental tools as well as a discussion of red flags (reasons for concern).  The presentation of the material is clear and provides a road map for teaching evidence-based assessment to students in the field.

Ray Kent does an excellent job of presenting a large body of information that is straight-forward, clinically relevant, and current.  Great resource to have on your bookshelf!"
—Kate Bunton, PhD, CCC-SLP, Professor, University of Arizona


Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Biological and Psychological Foundations of Speech Development

Chapter 3. Systems and Processes in Spoken and Inner Language

Chapter 4. Typical Speech Development

Chapter 5. Assessment of Articulation and Sensorimotor Functions

Chapter 6. Assessment of Voice and Prosody

Chapter 7. Assessment of Phonology

Chapter 8. Assessment of Intelligibility, Comprehensibility, and Other Global Features

Chapter 9. Principles of Motor Development and Motor Learning of Speech

Chapter 10. Bilingualism and Dialects

Chapter 11. Clinical Populations and Conditions

Chapter 12. Prevention, Treatment, and Clinical Decision Making

Appendix A. International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)

Appendix B. Variations of the Oral Mechanism Examination
Appendix C. Cranial Nerve Summary



Raymond D. Kent

Raymond D. Kent, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His publications include more than 250 journal articles, book chapters, and reviews on various topics in speech science and speech pathology. He has authored or edited 18 books, including: Clinical Phonetics (with L. D. Shriberg), Intelligibility in Speech Disorders, The Acoustic Analysis of Speech (with C. Read), Reference Manual for Communicative Sciences and Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology, The Speech Sciences, Handbook of Voice Quality Measurement (with M. J. Ball), and The MIT Encyclopedia of Communication Disorders. He served as editor of the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, associate founding editor of Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, and associate editor of Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica. His awards include: Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; Docteur Honoris Causa from the Université de Montréal; Honorary Professor, The University of Queensland, Australia; Visiting Erskine Fellow, University of Canterbury, New Zealand; and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Oulu, Finland.

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