Visual stimuli in intervention approaches for pre-schoolers diagnosed with phonological delay

The aim of this study was to develop and content validate specific speech and language intervention picture cards: The Letter-Sound (L&S) cards. The present study was also focused on assessing the influence of these cards on letter-sound correspondences and speech sound production. An expert panel of six speech and language therapists analysed and discussed the L&S cards based on several criteria previously established. A Speech and Language Therapist carried out a 6-week therapeutic intervention with a group of seven Portuguese phonologically delayed pre-schoolers aged 5;3 to 6;5. The modified Bland–Altman method revealed good agreement among evaluators, that is the majority of the values was between the agreement limits. Additional outcome measures were collected before and after the therapeutic intervention process. Results indicate that the L&S cards facilitate the acquisition of letter-sound correspondences. Regarding speech sound production, some improvements were also observed at word level. The L&S cards are therefore likely to give phonetic cues, which are crucial for the correct production of therapeutic targets. These visual cues seemed to have helped children with phonological delay develop the above-mentioned skills.