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Treatment of Severe Childhood Apraxia of Speech: A Treatment Efficacy Study
Edythe A. Strand, Ruth Stoeckel, Becky Baas

This paper reports data regarding the efficacy of treatment for 4 young children with severe apraxia of speech. A single subject, multiple baseline design across behaviors was used for experimental control, and replicated over the 4 children. Baseline and probe data were continuously collected. A treatment approach based on integral stimulation, Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC), was used. The paper includes a rationale for the treatment approach based on several principles of motor learning; a description of how treatment was implemented; and a summary of the data showing responses to treatment. Three of the 4 children exhibited rapid change following the implementation of treatment. The degree of performance change was greater than that for control probes, and improvement was maintained for most but not all utterances. Discussion focuses on: 1) explanations for improvement, and changes that were implemented in therapy to facilitate more rapid change; 2) why retention of performance was difficult for some utterances; 3) how incorporating the principles of motor learning may facilitate the treatment of severe developmental speech disorders which are accompanied by motor impairment; 4) indicators for favorable prognosis in treatment; and 5) need for additional paradigms for documenting treatment effects.

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