Precision Timing

OK, who out there has heard of Precision Timing?  It’s kind of old school, and from what I’ve heard, it disappeared for a little while when speech therapists began pulling away from drill practice.  Well, it’s making a come back because research has shown that (surprise!) lots and lots and lots of practice is really what determines whether or not a child will show progress for a specific goal!  Go figure.

So, what exactly is Precision Timing?  Basically, it’s a way to ensure lots of repetitions of a given target, and a way to track progress of a target.  All you need is a 1-minute timer, and a chart like this one.  Simply choose a target, start the timer, and have the child repeat the target as many times as he can in 1 minute.

chartYou can use precision timings for any target, but I usually use it for articulation practice.  Once a child can say a sound in words, I begin precision timings.  For word repetition, the child’s goal should be 10x his age.  So, if he is 6, he should be able to say 60 words in one minute.  Obviously this number can be adjusted to meet the needs of individual students, but that is the general rule.  Once you’ve found the target goal, start practicing.  After each timing, graph the child’s progress on their chart.  I like to highlight their goal line so that they can easily see when their goal has been reached.

To find the target goal for something else, such as carrier phrases, I take a 1-minute baseline of the child, and then add 10-15 to that number, and that becomes the goal.  The goal number does not have to be perfect because the main idea of this exercise is to get LOTS of practice.  I’ve heard reports that a child should produce a target 150 times in a 30-minute session.  That’s a LOT of productions, and it can be very difficult to reach anywhere near that number sometimes.  That’s why precision timing exercises are so great.  It’s an easy, fast way to get lots of productions.  Plus, kids usually love this activity because they like watching their progress on the graph.

Click on the link to get a free copy of the Precision Timing Chart.  Have you ever used precision timings?  What has been your success with it?

Until next time,

Aersta Acerson
A Utah Speech Therapist
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2 thoughts on “Precision Timing

    • Hello! I was given this info on precision timing at a conference when I worked in the school district. I have looked for the handouts from that conference and I have been unable to find them, so, unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you. I’ll look into this further and see if I can find the research on the subject. Thanks for your comment!

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