The Number of Individual Treatment Units Necessary to Facilitate Functional Communication Improvements in the Speech and Language of Young Children The present study was conducted to determine the average number of treatment units needed to achieve improvements in functional communication. The subjects, ages 3 to 6 years, consisted of 234 children who received speech-language pathology services over a two-year period at Children's Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Subjects ... Research
Research  |   November 2002
The Number of Individual Treatment Units Necessary to Facilitate Functional Communication Improvements in the Speech and Language of Young Children
 
Author Notes
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: jacobygp@hotmail.com
  • © American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody
Research   |   November 2002
The Number of Individual Treatment Units Necessary to Facilitate Functional Communication Improvements in the Speech and Language of Young Children
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2002, Vol. 11, 370-380. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/041)
History: Received June 7, 2001 , Accepted December 11, 2001
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2002, Vol. 11, 370-380. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/041)
History: Received June 7, 2001; Accepted December 11, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 16

The present study was conducted to determine the average number of treatment units needed to achieve improvements in functional communication. The subjects, ages 3 to 6 years, consisted of 234 children who received speech-language pathology services over a two-year period at Children's Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Subjects had disorders of articulation and/or language and were rated on all areas of deficit using the ASHA functional communication measures (FCMs) of articulation/intelligibility, spoken language production, and spoken language comprehension. Because many subjects had more than one area of deficit, a total of 394 ratings were obtained.

Results indicated that as the number of treatment units increased, the FCM level improved. These improvements were statistically significant for subjects with articulation/intelligibility and spoken language production disorders only. Younger children received the greatest benefit per units of therapy provided. Children with lower initial functional abilities generally required more units of therapy to demonstrate improvement than children with higher initial ability levels. Children with an associated factor, (i.e., anoxic brain damage, syndromes, hearing loss, etc.) generally required more units of therapy than those who had no other factors, although the results were not statistically significant. The majority of subjects (76.5%) improved by at least one FCM level following 20 hours or more of therapy. There was improvement of two FCM levels in 38.5%, and more than two levels in 18.5% of the overall group. The present study indicates that improvement in FCM abilities is made with treatment, and that the degree of improvement is correlated with the number of treatment units provided.

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