The Cycles Approach is an evidence-based way to treat phonological disorders in children. Developed by Barbara Hodson, it treats phonological processes by systematically targeting each process and rotating through them.
This approach is appropriate for children who have severe to profound speech sound disorders with highly unintelligible speech. They must have 3 or more phonological errors. It can be used successfully with children who have mild to moderate speech sound disorder as well as with children with additional etiologies: otitis media, repaired cleft palate, cochlear implants, and cognitive delays.
The child will wear headphones while you say 20 target words.
Introduce 3-5 targets and teach the child the words and their meanings. Elicit productions of target words, providing the child with appropriate supports.
Check stimulability for next weeks targets and at the end of each cycle.
You can focus on rhyming, blending, segmentation, etc.
You will provide target words for the parents/caregivers and children to practice for at least 2 minutes per day.
You will cycle through the child’s phonological patterns.
Download Cycles Approach handout here
Hodson, B. W. (2011). Enhancing Phonological Patterns of Young Children With Highly Unintelligible Speech. The ASHA Leader, 16(4), 16–19. https://doi.org/10.1044/leader.ftr2.16042011.16
Prezas, R. F., Magnus, L. C., &; Hodson, B. W. (2021). The Cycles Approach. In Interventions for Speech Sound Disorders in Children (2nd ed., pp. 251–278). essay, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.