Authors: Moriarty BC, Gillon GT
Title: Phonological awareness intervention for children with childhood apraxia of speech
Source: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 2006 41(6): 713-734
Year: 2006
Research Design: Single Case Design

AIMS: To investigate the effectiveness of an integrated phonological awareness intervention to improve the speech production, phonological awareness and printed word decoding skills for three children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) aged 7;3, 6;3 and 6;10. The three children presented with severely delayed phonological awareness skills before intervention. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: In consideration for the heterogeneity in the population with CAS, the study employed a multiple single-subject design with repeated measures. Baseline and post-intervention measures for speech, phonological awareness and decoding were compared. Each child received intervention for three 45-min sessions per week for 3 weeks (approximately 7 h of individual treatment). Sessions focused on developing phoneme awareness, linking graphemes to phonemes and providing opportunities for targeted speech production practice. Phonological awareness activities were linked with each child's speech production goals. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Two participants significantly improved target speech and phonological awareness skills during intervention. These participants also generalized the phonological awareness skills from trained to untrained items and were able to transfer newly acquired knowledge to improved performance on a non-word reading task. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that integrated phonological awareness intervention may be an effective method simultaneously to treat speech production, phonological awareness and decoding skills in some children with CAS. The findings are discussed within the context of the phonological representational theory of CAS.

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