Research Article  |   August 2012
Investigating the Use of Traditional and Spectral Biofeedback Approaches to Intervention for /r/ Misarticulation
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tara McAllister Byun
    Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
  • Elaine R. Hitchcock
    Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
  • Correspondence to Tara McAllister Byun, who is now at New York University: tara.byun@nyu.edu
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Peter Flipsen Jr.
    Associate Editor: Peter Flipsen Jr.×
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Article
Research Article   |   August 2012
Investigating the Use of Traditional and Spectral Biofeedback Approaches to Intervention for /r/ Misarticulation
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology August 2012, Vol.21, 207-221. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0083)
History: Accepted 09 Mar 2012 , Received 04 Aug 2011 , Revised 21 Nov 2011
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology August 2012, Vol.21, 207-221. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0083)
History: Accepted 09 Mar 2012 , Received 04 Aug 2011 , Revised 21 Nov 2011

Purpose: Misarticulation of /r/ is among the most challenging developmental speech errors to remediate. Case studies suggest that visual biofeedback treatment can establish perceptually accurate /r/ in clients who have not responded to traditional treatments. This investigation studied the response of children with persistent /r/ misarticulation to a course of traditional treatment and a course of biofeedback treatment.

Method: Eleven children with /r/ misarticulation completed 10 weeks of individual treatment consisting of 4–6 weeks of traditional treatment followed by 4–6 weeks of biofeedback treatment. Progress was measured by tracking correct /r/ productions within treatment and probing /r/ in words at 3 time points.

Results: At the group level, there was no difference in independent judges’ ratings of /r/ sounds produced by the children before and after traditional treatment. However, /r/ sounds produced after biofeedback treatment were significantly more likely to be rated by the judges as perceptually correct. Eight of the 11 children made measurable gains in the accuracy of isolated /r/ produced within treatment, with 4 showing significant generalization to untreated /r/ in words.

Conclusion: This descriptive study shows that treatment incorporating spectral biofeedback can facilitate accurate /r/ production in children with treatment-resistant errors. A follow-up period using traditional intervention methods may be necessary to encourage generalization.

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