Article  |   April 2012
Random Versus Blocked Practice in Treatment for Childhood Apraxia of Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Edwin Maas
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Kimberly A. Farinella
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Correspondence to Edwin Maas: emaas@arizona.edu
  • Editor: Anne Smith
    Editor: Anne Smith×
  • Associate Editor: Wolfram Ziegler
    Associate Editor: Wolfram Ziegler×
  • © 2012 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Apraxia of Speech & Childhood Apraxia of Speech / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   April 2012
Random Versus Blocked Practice in Treatment for Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 561-578. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0120)
History: Received May 17, 2011 , Accepted August 2, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 561-578. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0120)
History: Received May 17, 2011; Accepted August 2, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose: To compare the relative effects of random vs. blocked practice schedules in treatment for childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Although there have been repeated suggestions in the literature to use random practice in CAS treatment, no systematic studies exist that have directly compared random with blocked practice in this population.

Method: Using an alternating treatments single-subject design with multiple baselines across behaviors, the authors compared random and blocked practice in 4 children diagnosed with CAS in terms of retention and transfer. Random and blocked practice were implemented in the context of a version of Dynamic Temporal and Tactile *Cueing treatment (Strand, Stoeckel, & Baas, 2006). Perceptual accuracy of target utterances was scored, and effect sizes were calculated to quantify the magnitude of treatment effects.

Results: Findings were mixed, with 2 children showing a blocked practice advantage, 1 child showing a random practice advantage, and 1 child showing no clear improvement in either condition.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that the random practice advantage observed in the nonspeech motor learning literature may not extend to treatment for CAS. Furthermore, the findings add to the small body of literature indicating that integral stimulation treatment can lead to improvements in speech production for children with CAS.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by a generous grant from the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America. Portions of these data were presented at the 2009 American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention, New Orleans, LA; the 2010 Conference on Motor Speech, Savannah, GA; and the 2010 National Conference on Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Pittsburgh, PA. We thank Cass Faux, Lydia Garcia, and Becky Vance for assistance in identifying potential participants; Jenna Beltrami, Christine Butalla, and Nicole Cadenasso for assistance in treatment delivery; members of the Speech, Language, and Brain Laboratory (SLAB Lab) for help with data analysis; and the children and parents for their participation.
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