PURPOSE : The aim of the study was to propose the speech motor learning approach (Van der Merwe, 2011) as a treatment for childhood apraxia of speech and to determine if it will effect positive change in the ability of a 33-month-old child to produce untreated nonwords and words containing treated age-appropriate consonants (Set 1 sounds), untreated age-appropriate consonants (Set 2), and untreated age-inappropriate consonants (Set 3) and also to determine the nature and number of segmental speech errors before and after treatment. METHOD : An A-B design with multiple target measures and follow-up was implemented to assess the effects of treatment of Set 1. Effect sizes for whole-word accuracy were determined, and two criterion lines were generated following the conservative dual criterion method. Speech errors were judged perceptually. RESULTS : Conservative dual criterion analyses indicated no reliable treatment effect due to rising baseline scores. Effect sizes showed significant improvement in whole-word accuracy of untreated nonwords and real words containing age-appropriate treated sounds and real words containing age-appropriate untreated sounds. The number of errors for all three sound sets declined. Sound distortion was the most frequent error type. CONCLUSIONS : Preliminary evidence suggests potentially positive treatment effects. However, rising baseline scores limit causal inference. Replication with more children of different ages is necessary.
Supplemental File 1. Overview of a Speech Motor Learning (SML) program.
Supplemental File 2. Analysis of the Participant's Phonetic Repertoire.
Supplemental File 3. Examples of treatment stimuli implemented in the current study.