Phonological Assessment and Treatment Target (PATT) Selection

The PATT is a useful protocol developed by Jessica Barlow, Jennifer Taps Richard and Holly Storkel for conducting a thorough assessment of a child’s speech in order to strategically select treatment targets based on the child’s presenting sound system, language laws, and treatment efficacy research.

An automated version of the PATT, known as AutoPATT, has been developed by Philip Combiths and Ray Amberg. This is a plug-in for Phon, free phonological analysis software, available for Windows and MacOS, created by Yvan Rose and Greg Hedlund.

Disclaimer: AutoPATT (and PATT) will select an ideal target that is predicted to lead to widespread gains in the child’s system, but it does not also include clinical judgment, for which there is no substitute. Consider these as tools for assisting — rather than dictating — target selection.


For more details regarding clinical phonological analyses using Phon, see McAllister Byun & Rose (2016).

In addition, many resources for phonological assessment, including single-word probes, are also available at Jennifer Taps Richard’s website,


Barlow, J. A. (2004). Consonant clusters in phonological acquisition: Applications to assessment and treatment. CSHA Magazine, 34, 10-13.

Barlow, J. A., Taps, J., & Storkel, H. (2010). Phonological Assessment and Treatment Target (PATT) Selection [Assessment protocol].

Combiths, P., Amberg, R., & Barlow, J.A. (2016, November). Using phonological analysis software in the assessment and treatment of speech-sound disorders. Meritorious Poster Submission presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Philadelphia.

Gierut, J. A. (2004). Clinical application of phonological complexity. CSHA Magazine, 34, 6-7, 16.

Gierut, J. A. (2004). Descriptive linguistic methods for children’s speech. In R. D. Kent (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Communication Sciences and Disorders (pp. 174-176). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

McAllister Byun, T., & Rose, Y. (2016). Analyzing clinical phonological data using Phon. Seminars in Speech and Language, 37(2), 85–105.

Morrisette, M. L., Farris, A. W., & Gierut, J. A. (2006). Applications of learnability theory to clinical phonology. Advances in Speech-Language Pathology, 8, 207-219.

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