Treating speech subsystems in Childhood Apraxia of Speech with tactual input: The PROMPT approach

Philip S. Dale University of New Mexico

Deborah A. Hayden PROMPT Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Purpose: PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is a treatment approach for the improvement of speech sound disorders in children, which uses tactile cues to support and shape movements of the oral articulators. No research to date has systematically examined the efficacy of PROMPT for children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS).

Methods: Four children (3.6–4.8), all meeting the ASHA (2007) criteria for CAS were treated. All children received 8 weeks, 2x/week of treatment including at least 4 weeks of full PROMPT treatment, including tactile cues. During the first four weeks, two of the four children received treatment which included all PROMPT components except tactile information. This design permitted both between-subject and within-subject comparisons to evaluate the effect of tactile cues. Gains in treatment were measured by standardized tests and by criterion referenced measures based on the production of untreated probe words, reflecting change in speech movements and auditory perceptual accuracy.

Results: All children made significant gains during treatment, but measures of motor speech control and untreated word probes provided evidence for more gain when tactile cues were included.

Conclusions: PROMPT as a whole appears to be effective for treatment of children with CAS, and the inclusion of tactile cues appears to facilitate greater effect.

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