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Arnold School of Public Health


A Comparison of Articulation Interventions

Funding: American Speech-Language Hearing Association Advancing Academic-Research Careers Award (PI: Werfel)

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, an articulation disorder is defined as “the atypical production of speech sounds characterized by substitutions, omissions, additions or distortions that may interfere with intelligibility” (ASHA, 1993). Individuals with persistent articulation disorders (i.e., those that continue past age 5 or 6) are at higher risk for later literacy impairments than individuals with no history of articulation disorder or whose articulation disorder has resolved (Raitano et al., 2004). Importantly, articulation therapy is effective at improving speech sound errors (e.g., Sommers et al., 1967).

Traditional articulation therapy utilizes flashcards in to display pictures of stimulus words for teaching particular sounds. With the recent rise in popularity of tablets, such as the iPad, speech-language pathologists have shifted to utilizing such technology to display pictures of stimulus words in therapy. However, the use of tablets in articulation therapy has not been adequately evaluated. This study evaluates the effect of therapy type on children’s gains in speech sound production during articulation therapy.

Therefore, the goals of this study are threefold:

Goal 1: Compare effectiveness of traditional flashcard articulation therapy to technology-based articulation therapy.

Goal 2: Explore effect of therapy type on motivation.

Goal 3: Explore effect of therapy type on motivation.

Impact: This study will provide knowledge about the effectiveness of different approaches to articulation interventions.

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