Efficacy of Electropalatography for Treating Misarticulation of /r/ Purpose The purpose of the present study was to document the efficacy of electropalatography (EPG) for the treatment of rhotic errors in school-age children. Despite a growing body of literature using EPG for the treatment of speech sound errors, there is little systematic evidence about the relative efficacy of EPG ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   August 23, 2017
Efficacy of Electropalatography for Treating Misarticulation of /r/
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elaine R. Hitchcock
    Montclair State University, Bloomfield, NJ
  • Tara McAllister Byun
    New York University
  • Michelle Swartz
    Montclair State University, Bloomfield, NJ
  • Roberta Lazarus
    Montclair State University, Bloomfield, NJ
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Elaine R. Hitchcock: hitchcocke@mail.montclair.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Lynn Williams
    Associate Editor: Lynn Williams×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   August 23, 2017
Efficacy of Electropalatography for Treating Misarticulation of /r/
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0122
History: Received June 30, 2016 , Revised December 16, 2016 , Accepted May 10, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0122
History: Received June 30, 2016; Revised December 16, 2016; Accepted May 10, 2017

Purpose The purpose of the present study was to document the efficacy of electropalatography (EPG) for the treatment of rhotic errors in school-age children. Despite a growing body of literature using EPG for the treatment of speech sound errors, there is little systematic evidence about the relative efficacy of EPG for rhotic errors.

Method Participants were 5 English-speaking children aged 6;10 to 9;10, who produced /r/ at the word level with < 30% accuracy but otherwise showed typical speech, language, and hearing abilities. Therapy was delivered in twice-weekly 30-min sessions for 8 weeks.

Results Four out of 5 participants were successful in achieving perceptually and acoustically accurate /r/ productions during within-treatment trials. Two participants demonstrated generalization of /r/ productions to nontreated targets, per blinded listener ratings.

Conclusions The present findings support the hypothesis that EPG can improve production accuracy in some children with rhotic errors. However, the utility of EPG is likely to remain variable across individuals. For rhotics, EPG training emphasizes one possible tongue configuration consistent with accurate rhotic production (lateral tongue contact). Although some speakers respond well to this cue, the narrow focus may limit lingual exploration of other acceptable tongue shapes known to facilitate rhotic productions.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by an internal separately budgeted research grant from Montclair State University to the first author. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the following individuals: for manufacturing participant dental molds free of charge, Drs. Bruce Fox and Sonia Abraham; for stimulus rating, Meghan Hemmer, Sarah Granquist, Olivia Bell, and Diana Barral; and for data collection and analysis, Kurt Keena, Julie Irwin, Lauren Dioguardi, and Melissa Lopez. We also thank our participants and their families for their ongoing cooperation throughout the study. Aspects of this research were presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Orlando, FL (2014), and the Annual Convention of the New Jersey Speech-Language Hearing Association in Long Branch, NJ (2014).
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access