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Using ultrasound in Sound Production Treatment for acquired apraxia of speech : a case study of multiple speech sound targets Murphey, Winifred


Acquired apraxia of speech (AOS) is a disorder of speech production. Treatment approaches and advancements are limited. Technological approaches or additions to current treatment approaches may provide greater benefit to individuals with AOS. This case study examines the effects of treating AOS using an adapted Sound Production Treatment (SPT) hierarchy (Bailey, Eatchel & Wambaugh, 2015) that includes an ultrasound visual feedback component. The goal was to quantify the effects of two speech sound treatment blocks, one using SPT and one using SPT plus Ultrasound (U/S) for a single participant with AOS, and to compare the outcomes from each treatment block with one another. The number of articulatory mismatches for treated and untreated speech sounds were analyzed based on their similarity to the treated speech sounds in terms of phonologic and articulatory features that can be seen on ultrasound. Treated speech sounds showed increases in articulatory accuracy when using SPT with or without ultrasound. This was also true for untreated speech sounds that were maximally phonologically related to the treated speech sounds. Untreated speech sounds that shared articulatory/phonological features visible on ultrasound with the treated speech sounds showed increases in accuracy only in the SPT plus U/S condition. Untreated speech sounds that were minimally phonologically related to the treated speech sounds and were not visible on ultrasound showed limited improvement in either condition These findings suggest that including a visual feedback route in speech treatment for AOS can be used to induce transfer of learning effects to speech sound targets with visibly similar articulatory gesture as those being treated. Clinically, using ultrasound as visual biofeedback in an SPT treatment may be effective in promoting transfer of positive treatment effects to speech sound targets when trained and untrained targets share characteristics observable on ultrasound.

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