Authors: Preston JL, Brick N, Landi N
Title: Ultrasound Biofeedback Treatment for Persisting Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2013 22(4): 627-643
Year: 2013
Research Design: Single Case Design

PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of a treatment program that includes ultrasound biofeedback for children with persisting speech sound errors associated with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). METHOD: Six children age 9-15 participated in a multiple baseline experiment for 18 treatment sessions during which therapy focused on producing sequences involving lingual sounds. Children were cued to modify tongue movements using visual feedback from real-time ultrasound images. Probe data were collected before, during, and after treatment to assess word-level accuracy for treated and untreated sound sequences. As participants reached pre-established performance criteria, new sequences were introduced into treatment. RESULTS: All participants met the performance criterion (80% accuracy for two consecutive sessions) on at least two treated sound sequences. Across the six participants, 23 of 31 treated sequences met the performance criterion, in an average of five sessions. Some participants showed no improvement in untreated sequences, whereas others showed generalization to untreated sequences that were phonetically similar to treated sequences. Most gains were maintained two months later. Percent Phonemes Correct increased significantly from pre-treatment to the two-month follow-up. CONCLUSION: A treatment program including ultrasound biofeedback is a viable option for improving speech sound accuracy in children with persisting errors associated with CAS.

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