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Differential Processing Training Program Linguistic Tasks
Ages: 6-12   Grades: 1-7

Target the processing skills that underpin steady, consistent language development.  This systematic progression of tasks focuses on word relationships, prosody, and language organization. 



  • Understand and use abstract language
  • Interpret and effectively use prosody
  • Develop language-based reasoning
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These lessons individually and as a group, teach children to manipulate increasingly complex units of language.  Each one-page activity has a clear, measurable goal and a performance grid for easy measurement, identification of error patterns, and quick documentation of progress.  

The lessons are grouped into three skill areas: 

Word Relationships

  • Associations—recognize and explain associations; generate associated words
  • Comparisons—identify and explain similarities and differences
  • Synonyms —identify, generate, and compare synonyms
  • Antonyms—recognize and generate antonyms
  • Multiple-Meaning Words—identify, explain, and define multiple-meaning words
  • Similes—identify similar characteristics, identify items by characteristics, complete and generate similes

Prosodic Interpretation

  • Emotions—recognize and infer emotions and identify emotional intonation
  • Sentence Intonation—recognize intonation, infer sentence meaning from intonation, use intonation appropriately
  • Stress and Rhythm—discriminate syllable and word stress and rhythm, interpret changes in stress and rhythm

Language Organization

  • Convergent Naming—identify objects from clues, discriminate and identify categories, identify commonalities among objects
  • Divergent Naming—name category members by function, parts, and attributes; complete analogies
  • Feature Description—describe objects by attributes, parts, and function; generate effective clues about objects

You may purchase Linguistic Tasks individually or as part of the Differential Processing Training Program 3-book set.  The 3-book set consists of:

Differential Processing Training Program Acoustic Tasks
Differential Processing Training Program Acoustic-Linguistic Tasks
Differential Processing Training Program Linguistics Tasks


Copyright © 2007

149 pages, performance grids, IEP goals
  • Interpretation of spoken and written figurative language is a substantial part of understanding language (ASHA, 2001).
  • Effective vocabulary instruction strategies actively engage students and require higher-level cognitive processing.  These strategies include identifying synonyms and antonyms, analyzing word features, and using visual aids (Kester-Phillips, Foote, & Harper, 2008).
  • Children with language difficulties benefit from direct teaching in analytical skills (Masterson & Perrey, 1999).
  • Children with language disorders show difficulty inferring emotions and this may lead to negative social interactions with peers (Ford & Milosky, 2003).
  • Students may demonstrate hidden intonation comprehension difficulties when their general speech production skills appear appropriate (Wells & Peppé, 2003).

Differential Processing Training Program Linguistic Tasks incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2001). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists with respect to reading and writing in children and adolescents. Retrieved September 10, 2009, from

Ford, J.A., & Milosky, L.M. (2003). Inferring emotion reaction in social situations: Different in children with language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 46, 21-30.

Kester-Phillips, D.C., Foote, C.J., & Harper, L.J. (2008). Strategies for effective vocabulary instruction. Reading Improvement, 45(2), 62-68.

Masterson, J.J., & Perrey, C.D. (1999). Training analogical reasoning skills in children with language disorders. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 8, 53-61.

Wells, B., & Peppé, S. (2003). Intonation abilities of children with speech and language impairments. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 46, 5-20.


Kerry Winget


Kerry Winget, AuD, CCC-SLP/A, received her graduate training in speech-language pathology and audiology from Western Illinois University and her doctorate in audiology from the University of Florida.  She has provided speech services in a variety of settings, including acute and rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient clinics, and public school systems, as well as audiological services in a private practice office and outpatient hospital clinic.

The Differential Processing Training Program is Kerry's first publication with LinguiSystems.


Speech-language pathologists are seeing more and more students referred for suspected auditory processing difficulties.  Referrals made by the classroom teacher may describe a student with difficulty following verbal instructions and sequential directions, distractibility, inconsistent academic performance, poor spelling and reading skills, and/or poor participation in group work.  These types of behaviors, however, are common across a variety of diagnoses, including auditory processing, attention deficit, and specific language disorders.  Effective screening and evaluation procedures help define the student's location of breakdown in auditory to linguistic processing ability, allowing more productive use of treatment time with focused treatment materials.  Available instruments include Differential Screening Test for Processing (DSTP) (LinguiSystems, Inc.), SCAN-C: Test for Auditory Processing Disorders in Children (Harcourt Assessment, Inc.), and Test of Auditory-Perceptual Skills-Revised [TAPS-R] (Psychological and Educational Publications, Inc.).

There are three books in the Differential Processing Training Program:

  • Differential Processing Training Program Acoustic Tasks
  • Differential Processing Training Program Acoustic-Linguistic Tasks
  • Differential Processing Training Program Linguistic Tasks

These books contain sets of tasks developed to provide hierarchical practice across the continuum of auditory and linguistic processing.  Used together, they provide material to strengthen the auditory foundations of basic sound difference awareness, manipulating those skills in sound and letter use, and finally mastering those skills in prosodic features and language efficiency.  Each book may be used in isolation or in the continuum of related skills at that processing level.

Differential Processing Training Program Linguistic Tasks is divided into three sections: Word Relationships, Prosodic Interpretation, and Language Organization.  Each section focuses on practice attaching meaning to auditory stimuli.  The tasks in each section encourage more creative and independent use of these skills for carryover into everyday language use.

There are a variety of treatment materials currently available that address various parts of the central auditory processing skills spectrum.  The goal of the three books in the Differential Processing Training Program is to give the speech-language pathologist a range of related materials to use with all children with language processing difficulties, regardless of whether those difficulties begin with non-linguistic or linguistic language performance.

The Differential Processing Training Program was designed to help expand therapy resources for processing, from both the auditory and linguistic perspectives.  I hope you find these exercises as exciting and effective as my clients have.