posted on 2014-12-01, 00:00authored byJonathan L. Preston, Patricia McCabe, Ahmed Rivera-Campos, Jessica L. Whittle, Erik Landry, Edwin Maas
Purpose The goals were to (a) test the efficacy of a motor-learning-based treatment that includes ultrasound visual feedback for individuals with residual speech sound errors and (b) explore whether the addition of prosodic cueing facilitates speech sound learning.
Method A multiple-baseline, single-subject design was used, replicated across 8 participants. For each participant, 1 sound context was treated with ultrasound plus prosodic cueing for 7 sessions, and another sound context was treated with ultrasound but without prosodic cueing for 7 sessions. Sessions included ultrasound visual feedback as well as non-ultrasound treatment. Word-level probes assessing untreated words were used to evaluate retention and generalization.
Results For most participants, increases in accuracy of target sound contexts at the word level were observed with the treatment program regardless of whether prosodic cueing was included. Generalization between onset singletons and clusters was observed, as was generalization to sentence-level accuracy. There was evidence of retention during posttreatment probes, including at a 2-month follow-up.
Conclusion A motor-based treatment program that includes ultrasound visual feedback can facilitate learning of speech sounds in individuals with residual speech sound errors.
The study provides evidence that ultrasound visual feedback in the context of a motor learning program can be used to facilitate more accurate speech sound production in individuals with RSSEs. Beyond the effects of ultrasound visual feedback, prosodic cueing was not observed to have a robust impact on motor learning in this study. In sum, for some individuals whose speech sound errors have persisted for several years, a short period of ultrasound visual feedback treatment in the context of a motor learning program may be an effective approach to remediation.