Authors: McAuliffe MJ, Cornwell PL
Title: Intervention for Lateral /s/ Using Electropalatography (EPG) Biofeedback and an Intensive Motor Learning Approach: A Case Report
Source: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 2008 43(2): 219-229
Year: 2008
Research Design: Single Case Design

BACKGROUND: Visual biofeedback using electropalatography (EPG) has been beneficial in the treatment of some cases of lateral /s/ misarticulation. While EPG intervention is motorically based, studies have not commonly employed a motor learning approach to treatment. Furthermore, treatment success is measured primarily by change to EPG tongue-palate contact patterns and listener ratings conducted by speech-language therapists. Studies have not commonly measured articulatory change without the palate "in-situ" using acoustic analysis and non-professional listeners. AIMS: To determine if an intensive treatment programme including both visual biofeedback (EPG) and traditional articulation techniques within a motor learning paradigm would result in functional improvement to /s/ articulation in an 11-year-old girl with persistent lateral misarticulation. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Treatment involved 12 sessions of therapist-delivered treatment over 4 weeks followed by a 6-week home programme. Outcomes of the treatment programme were measured primarily using naive listener ratings and acoustic analysis of /s/ spectra. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Improvements to both the perceptual and spectral characteristics of /s/ articulation occurred following the treatment programme. CONCLUSIONS: The study highlighted the benefit of an intensive approach to intervention incorporating both visual biofeedback and traditional articulation approaches. The inclusion of a 6-week structured home-programme was beneficial and resulted in consolidation of treatment gains.

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