Ultrasound Biofeedback Treatment for Persisting Childhood Apraxia of Speech Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment program that includes ultrasound biofeedback for children with persisting speech sound errors associated with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Method Six children ages 9–15 years participated in a multiple baseline experiment for 18 treatment ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2013
Ultrasound Biofeedback Treatment for Persisting Childhood Apraxia of Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jonathan L. Preston
    Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT
    Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven
  • Nickole Brick
    Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven
  • Nicole Landi
    Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT
    Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, CT
  • Correspondence to Jonathan Preston: preston@haskins.yale.edu
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Lynn Williams
    Associate Editor: Lynn Williams×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Apraxia of Speech & Childhood Apraxia of Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2013
Ultrasound Biofeedback Treatment for Persisting Childhood Apraxia of Speech
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2013, Vol. 22, 627-643. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2013/12-0139)
History: Received October 16, 2012 , Revised January 21, 2013 , Accepted May 5, 2013
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2013, Vol. 22, 627-643. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2013/12-0139)
History: Received October 16, 2012; Revised January 21, 2013; Accepted May 5, 2013

Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment program that includes ultrasound biofeedback for children with persisting speech sound errors associated with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).

Method Six children ages 9–15 years participated in a multiple baseline experiment for 18 treatment sessions during which treatment focused on producing sequences involving lingual sounds. Children were cued to modify their tongue movements using visual feedback from real-time ultrasound images. Probe data were collected before, during, and after treatment to assess word-level accuracy for treated and untreated sound sequences. As participants reached preestablished performance criteria, new sequences were introduced into treatment.

Results All participants met the performance criterion (80% accuracy for 2 consecutive sessions) on at least 2 treated sound sequences. Across the 6 participants, performance criterion was met for 23 of 31 treated sequences in an average of 5 sessions. Some participants showed no improvement in untreated sequences, whereas others showed generalization to untreated sequences that were phonetically similar to the treated sequences. Most gains were maintained 2 months after the end of treatment. The percentage of phonemes correct increased significantly from pretreatment to the 2-month follow-up.

Conclusion A treatment program including ultrasound biofeedback is a viable option for improving speech sound accuracy in children with persisting speech sound errors associated with CAS.

Acknowledgments
Support was provided by the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America, a Connecticut State University grant, and a donation to the Language and Early Assessment Research Network at Haskins Laboratories. Thanks to Virginia Porto, Shawna Oneil, and Nicole Augustine for providing treatment to participants; Emily Phillips, Cayla Dominello, Amanda Rizzo, and Gabrielle Cella for data entry; Dana Arthur for assisting with assessments; and Suzanne Boyce for providing initial training with ultrasound imaging.
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