Authors: Preston JL, Leece MC
Title: Intensive Treatment for Persisting Rhotic Distortions: A Case Series
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2017 26(4): 1066-1079
Year: 2017
Research Design: Case Series

Purpose: The study explored changes in accuracy of American English rhotics as a result of an intensive 1-week therapy program for adolescents and young adults with residual speech sound errors that had not resolved with previous therapy. Method: Four case reports are presented of individuals aged 13, 17, 21, and 22 years with residual /ɹ/ distortions. Each participant attended a 1-week intensive program consisting of pretreatment assessments, 14 hr of therapy, and posttreatment assessment. Treatment sessions included structured motor-based practice, ultrasound visual feedback of the tongue, and auditory speech perception training. To assess generalization, untreated words and sentences with rhotics were recorded before and after therapy; these were rated by listeners who were blind to when the recordings were taken. Results: All participants showed measurable and statistically significant improvement in speech sound accuracy. Averaged across the 4 participants, rhotic accuracy at the word level improved from 35% to 83%. At the sentence level, rhotic accuracy increased from 11% pretreatment to 66% posttreatment in 1 week. Conclusion: The promise of an intensive treatment program that includes motor-based practice, biofeedback, and auditory perception training is illustrated by the case presentations in which substantial improvements in speech sound accuracy were observed.

Access: Paywall