The Effect of an Oral Motor Exerciser in Articulation Therapy: A Single Subject Design

L Lentz, A Skinder-Meredith

 

The purpose of this single subject pilot study was to test the effectiveness of an oral-motor device (Iso-flex) when used in the treatment of a child with a phonologic/articulation disorder (PAD).

 

The single-subject pilot study was conducted using an ABA multiple-baseline approach.  A 7;11 year old female with persistent /r/ and /s/ articulation errors and a tongue thrust served as the subject.  The child attended the Robert F. Pierce Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic located at the University of Minnesota-Duluth for a period of eight weeks.  The pre-vocalic and vocalic /r/ were treated with traditional articulation drill therapy (TADT) throughout the course of treatment, while /s/ only received the Iso-flex treatment, which was introduced the third week and then withdrawn the seventh week.  Probe data was taken on all sounds at each session to monitor progress with and without the Iso-flex.

 

Trends were analyzed using visual analysis and an Ordinary Least Squares Regression with a time indicator.  Visual analysis of the pre-vocalic and vocalic /r/ probe data did not show a clear effect from implementation of the Iso-flex, but the regression analysis did show the device had a significant effect on accuracy of /r/ when used with TADT.  There was no significant effect on accuracy of /s/.