Individuals with residual speech sound disorders (SSD) demonstrate speech errors beyond approximately eight years of age, often despite several years of traditional speech therapy. A few studies have shown that various forms of biofeedback may be a viable treatment alternative for this population. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to provide experimental evidence of the efficacy of ultrasound biofeedback therapy for children with persisting SSD. A secondary aim was to explore the connection between improvements in speech production and phonological awareness (PA). The methodology consisted of a single-subject, multiple baseline across behaviors experiment involving seven participants (ages 9-17), who received 18 treatment sessions, during which therapy focused on production of lingual sound sequences. Participants were prompted to alter tongue movements using visual feedback from real-time ultrasound images. Probe data were collected at sessions before, during, and after treatment to assess word-level accuracy for treated and untreated sound sequences. The results of the study show that all participants met criteria (80% accuracy for two consecutive sessions) on at least two treated sound sequences. Across the six primary participants, 23 of 31 treated sequences met criteria over an average of five sessions. Some participants demonstrated generalized improvement to untreated targets that were phonetically similar to the treated targets. One participant with a lateral lisp, who received a less intense treatment program, also showed improvement at the word level. Most treatment effects were maintained at a two-month follow-up. In conclusion, this study provides new evidence that ultrasound biofeedback is a feasible treatment option for improving accuracy of lingual speech sounds for children with persisting SSD.
|Advisor:||Preston, Jonathan L.|
|School:||Southern Connecticut State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Connecticut|
|Source:||MAI 51/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Physical therapy, Speech therapy|
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