Authors: Rusiewicz HL, Rivera JL
Title: The Effect of Hand Gesture Cues Within the Treatment of /r/ for a College-Aged Adult With Persisting Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2017 26(4): 1236-1243
Year: 2017
Research Design: Single Case Design

Purpose: Despite the widespread use of hand movements as visual and kinesthetic cues to facilitate accurate speech produced by individuals with speech sound disorders (SSDs), no experimental investigation of gestural cues that mimic that spatiotemporal parameters of speech sounds (e.g., holding fingers and thumb together and “popping” them to cue /p/) currently exists. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of manual mimicry cues within a multisensory intervention of persisting childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Method: A single-subject ABAB withdrawal design was implemented to assess the accuracy of vowel + /r/ combinations produced by a 21-year-old woman with persisting CAS. The effect of manual mimicry gestures paired with multisensory therapy consisting of verbal instructions and visual modeling was assessed via clinician and naïve listener ratings of target sound accuracy. Results: According to the perceptual ratings of the treating clinician and 28 naïve listeners, the participant demonstrated improved speech sound accuracy as a function of the manual mimicry/multisensory therapy. Conclusions: These data offer preliminary support for the incorporation of gestural cues in therapy for CAS and other SSDs. The need for continued research on the interaction of speech and manual movements for individuals with SSDs is discussed.

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