Intensive Treatment for Persisting Rhotic Distortions: A Case Series Purpose The study explored changes in accuracy of American English rhotics as a result of an intensive 1-week therapy program for adolescents and young adults with residual speech sound errors that had not resolved with previous therapy. Method Four case reports are presented of individuals aged 13, 17, ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   November 08, 2017
Intensive Treatment for Persisting Rhotic Distortions: A Case Series
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jonathan L. Preston
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University, NY
    Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT
  • Megan C. Leece
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University, NY
  • 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 Jonathan L. Preston: jopresto@syr.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Rebecca McCauley
    Associate Editor: Rebecca McCauley×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   November 08, 2017
Intensive Treatment for Persisting Rhotic Distortions: A Case Series
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2017, Vol. 26, 1066-1079. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0232
History: Received December 1, 2016 , Revised April 25, 2017 , Accepted June 13, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2017, Vol. 26, 1066-1079. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0232
History: Received December 1, 2016; Revised April 25, 2017; Accepted June 13, 2017

Purpose The study explored changes in accuracy of American English rhotics as a result of an intensive 1-week therapy program for adolescents and young adults with residual speech sound errors that had not resolved with previous therapy.

Method Four case reports are presented of individuals aged 13, 17, 21, and 22 years with residual /ɹ/ distortions. Each participant attended a 1-week intensive program consisting of pretreatment assessments, 14 hr of therapy, and posttreatment assessment. Treatment sessions included structured motor-based practice, ultrasound visual feedback of the tongue, and auditory speech perception training. To assess generalization, untreated words and sentences with rhotics were recorded before and after therapy; these were rated by listeners who were blind to when the recordings were taken.

Results All participants showed measurable and statistically significant improvement in speech sound accuracy. Averaged across the 4 participants, rhotic accuracy at the word level improved from 35% to 83%. At the sentence level, rhotic accuracy increased from 11% pretreatment to 66% posttreatment in 1 week.

Conclusion The promise of an intensive treatment program that includes motor-based practice, biofeedback, and auditory perception training is illustrated by the case presentations in which substantial improvements in speech sound accuracy were observed.

Supplemental Materials https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5561254

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by NIH Grant R03DC013152, which was granted to Jonathan L. Preston, PI. Thanks to Nina Chu, Kara Comins, Kerry McNamara, Lauren Peduto, Stephanie Urlass, Monique Uy, and Haley Weaver for their assistance with this project.
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