Research  |   May 2011
The Importance of Production Frequency in Therapy for Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Denice Michelle Edeal
    Portland State University, Portland, OR
  • Christina Elke Gildersleeve-Neumann
    Portland State University, Portland, OR
  • Correspondence to Christina Elke Gildersleeve-Neumann: cegn@pdx.edu
  • Denice Michelle Edeal is now with the Evergreen School District, Vancouver, WA.
    Denice Michelle Edeal is now with the Evergreen School District, Vancouver, WA.×
  • Editor: Laura Justice
    Editor: Laura Justice×
  • Associate Editor: Shelley Velleman
    Associate Editor: Shelley Velleman×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody
Research   |   May 2011
The Importance of Production Frequency in Therapy for Childhood Apraxia of Speech
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2011, Vol. 20, 95-110. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/09-0005)
History: Received January 18, 2009 , Revised September 2, 2009 , Accepted February 1, 2011
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2011, Vol. 20, 95-110. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/09-0005)
History: Received January 18, 2009; Revised September 2, 2009; Accepted February 1, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

Purpose: This study explores the importance of production frequency during speech therapy to determine whether more practice of speech targets leads to increased performance within a treatment session, as well as to motor learning, in the form of generalization to untrained words.

Method: Two children with childhood apraxia of speech were treated with an alternating treatment AB design, with production frequency differing in the 2 treatments. The higher production frequency treatment required 100+ productions in 15 min, while the moderate-frequency treatment required 30–40 productions in the same time period. One child was treated 3 times weekly for 11 weeks; the other child was treated twice weekly for 5 weeks. At the conclusion of each treatment phase, 5 min of probes were administered to determine whether generalization had occurred. Maintenance data to measure performance and learning were collected after a break from treatment.

Results: Both children showed improvement on all targets; however, the targets with the higher production frequency treatment were acquired faster, evidenced by better in-session performance and greater generalization to untrained probes.

Conclusions: Both treatment designs were effective, though frequent and intense practice of speech resulted in more rapid response to treatment in 2 children whose primary communication difficulty was childhood apraxia of speech.

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