The Influence of Intensive Phonologic Rehabilitation on Phono-Motor Characteristics

D Kendall, A Rodriquez, T Conway, J Rosenbek

 

This study investigated the effects of an intensive phonologically based rehabilitation program on speech/language production of a subject with acquired apraxia of speech and aphasia within the context of a single subject design. We asked whether treatment would improve the ability to produce individual phonemes, generalize to repetition of multisyllable words, words of increasing length and measures of ecologic validity.We predicted that our subjectís predominant motor impairment would respond to an intensive phono-motor based treatment.We found the results supported some, but not all of our predictions.He was able to learn to produce individual sounds, however generalization to other aspects of motor production (repetition of words) was not present.Change was present in traditional phonologic measures; however, no improvement in lexical/semantic function was noted.Regarding generalization to measures of ecologic validity and subject self-report, perceptual judgments of discourse production showed slower rate and less effort, but interestingly was perceived by independent reviewers to be less natural. Finally, the subjectís self-judgment of post treatment communication abilities indicated less apprehension towards speaking with unfamiliar people, increased telephone usage and increased ease of communication.