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Visual feedback from ultrasound in remediation of persistent /r/ errors : case studies of two adolescents Adler-Bock, Marcy

Abstract

This study examines the effectiveness of using visual feedback from ultrasound in remediation of persistent /r/ errors. Ultrasound provides the learner and the clinician with a dynamic sagittal or coronal image of the tongue during speech production. The participants in this study were two adolescent boys ages 12 and 14 who had not yet learned to produce an on-target North American /r/ in any context. Both participants had received at least one year of traditional /r/ therapy without improvement. Therapy was provided over 13 one-hour sessions using visual feed back from ultrasound. Initially, the /r/ was broken down into individual motor targets (tip, body, root); these components were then practiced in combination to produce /r/ in isolation, then in syllables, words, and phrases. Post-treatment improvements were analyzed through transcription, acoustic analysis, and tongue shape measurement. Both participants' /r/ productions were rated as having more tokens of on-target /r/ post-treatment. Acoustic results supported these findings with a lowering of the third formant post-treatment. Tongue shape measures indicated that the participants' tongue shapes were more similar to the modeled tongue shape post-treatment. It was concluded that visual feedback from ultrasound is beneficial in remediation of persistent /r/ errors.

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