Authors: Youmans G, Holland A, Munoz ML, Bourgeois M
Title: Script training and automaticity in two individuals with aphasia
Source: Aphasiology 2005 19(3-5): 435-450
Year: 2005
Research Design: Single Case Design

BACKGROUND: Automatic production of spoken language is compromised in many individuals with aphasia whose speech is consistently effortful. Linguistic-based and functional treatments for aphasia both may help to return some automaticity to language production. However, neither approach specifically targets automaticity of speech production for individual with aphasia. AIMS: A treatment protocol was developed to facilitate the automatic spoken production of trained scripts in specific functional contexts by individuals with aphasia. The purpose of this study was to measure its treatment outcomes. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Two individuals with non-fluent aphasia participated. A multiple baseline design across behaviours examined the acquisition of personally relevant short scripts. Script production was probed at the initiation and termination of treatment, and during weekly treatment sessions. Scripts were transcribed and analysed according to several measures of accuracy and fluency. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: All scripts were mastered, and scripted speech productions were judged to have become more automatic based on naturalness and stability of speech, increased speaking rate, and relatively errorless production. Automatic script production also generalised to novel conversation partners and novel cues in a limited fashion. CONCLUSIONS: Script training as used here was a successful treatment approach. It may be an effective, practical, and functional approach to the treatment of aphasic individuals with moderately spared comprehension and cognitive difficulties and with significant expressive speech difficulties.

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