Authors: Icht M
Title: Improving speech characteristics of young adults with congenital dysarthria: An exploratory study comparing articulation training and the Beatalk method
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2021 93: Article ID: 106147
Year: 2021
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: N/A
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Introduction: This exploratory study compared the effects of two speech therapy approaches on speech characteristics of young adults with congenital dysarthria resulting from various etiologies: a) articulation training focusing on consonant articulation exercises at various levels (isolation, syllables, and words), and b) the Beatalk method, based on human beatboxing, i.e., producing various instrumental sounds in an a-cappella musical context. Both interventions were designed to increase participants' speech intelligibility. Methods: Twelve adults with congenital dysarthria and reduced speech intelligibility participated in treatment groups for eight weeks. Six participants were assigned to the articulation training group, and six to the Beatalk group. Intelligibility of single words and continuous speech, voice measures, and oral-diadochokinesis rates were measured before and after the treatment. Results: The results showed that the Beatalk intervention yielded a significant overall pre- to post-treatment effect. Specifically, it resulted in gains in articulatory accuracy and intelligibility for single words. Improvements were not noted following articulation training. Conclusions: The results present initial evidence of the positive effect of the Beatalk method as an intervention tool for adults with congenital dysarthria. This relatively easy-to-learn technique shows promise, as it involves intense and repetitive production of speech sounds while controlling rhythm and breathing in an enjoyable context.

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