Authors: Edeal DM, Gildersleeve-Neumanna CE
Title: The Importance of Production Frequency in Therapy for Childhood Apraxia
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2011 20(2): 95-110
Year: 2011
Research Design: Single Case Design

Purpose: This study explores the importance of production frequency during speech therapy to determine whether more practice of speech targets leads to increased performance within a treatment session, as well as to motor learning, in the form of generalization to untrained words. Method: Two children with childhood apraxia of speech were treated with an alternating treatment AB design, with production frequency differing in the 2 treatments. The higher production frequency treatment required 100+ productions in 15 min, while the moderate-frequency treatment required 30-40 productions in the same time period. One child was treated 3 times weekly for 11 weeks; the other child was treated twice weekly for 5 weeks. At the conclusion of each treatment phase, 5 min of probes were administered to determine whether generalization had occurred. Maintenance data to measure performance and learning were collected after a break from treatment. Results: Both children showed improvement on all targets; however, the targets with the higher production frequency treatment were acquired faster, evidenced by better in-session performance and greater generalization to untrained probes. Conclusions: Both treatment designs were effective, though frequent and intense practice of speech resulted in more rapid response to treatment in 2 children whose primary communication difficulty was childhood apraxia of speech.

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