"Working as a Speech and Language Therapist, in a variety of settings including specific language impairment, moderate and severe learning disability, community paediatrics and even acquired aphasia, POPAT has been an invaluable tool for me. Young children who have previously found it difficult to access traditional forms of phonological therapy are able to flourish under this approach – I used it successfully with my daughter when she was 2½ years old.
POPAT fits well with current theoretical frameworks that suggest that output difficulties are the result of inaccurate or unclear phonological representations (e.g. working memory theory). POPAT throws the emphasis on the need to concentrate on ‘input’ and to practise ‘output’ only to secure motor plans that have failed to develop as a result of deficits in the input stages.
This programme is exciting for all therapists working with both speech and language difficulties. If indeed language difficulties also stem from a poorly functioning working memory (resulting in difficulties abstracting the syntactical and morphological frames before the trace fades), then could POPAT help to develop the ability to listen and segment longer phrases and make clearer the grammatical elements at sentence level?
When newly-qualified, POPAT gave me a reliable, structured and most of all successful approach to managing phonological difficulties: as a more experienced therapist, it has allowed me to develop, expand and try out new ideas based on a sound and logical theoretical framework. POPAT is remarkable in its successfulness and adaptability e.g. in working with individuals, groups etc., and its non-judgemental approach is essential for working with children who have met with a lifetime of failure in the world of communication. I would be lost without it."
Manda Dooner, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist