Effects of Computer-Based Intervention Through Acoustically Modified Speech (Fast ForWord) in Severe Mixed Receptive—Expressive Language Impairment Outcomes From a Randomized Controlled Trial Research Article
Research Article  |   June 2005
Effects of Computer-Based Intervention Through Acoustically Modified Speech (Fast ForWord) in Severe Mixed Receptive—Expressive Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Wendy Cohen
    University of Edinburgh Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Ann Hodson
    University of Edinburgh Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Anne O'Hare
    University of Edinburgh Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • James Boyle
    University of Strathclyde Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Tariq Durrani
    University of Strathclyde Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Elspeth McCartney
    University of Strathclyde Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Mike Mattey
    University of Strathclyde Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Lionel Naftalin
    University of Strathclyde Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Jocelynne Watson
    Queen Margaret University College Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Contact author: James Boyle, Department of Psychology, University of Strathclyde, Graham Hills Building, 40 George Street, Glasgow G11QE, United Kingdom. E-mail: j.boyle@strath.ac.uk
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 2005
Effects of Computer-Based Intervention Through Acoustically Modified Speech (Fast ForWord) in Severe Mixed Receptive—Expressive Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2005, Vol. 48, 715-729. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/049)
History: Received December 17, 2003 , Accepted December 2, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2005, Vol. 48, 715-729. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/049)
History: Received December 17, 2003; Accepted December 2, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 67

Seventy-seven children between the ages of 6 and 10 years, with severe mixed receptive-expressive specific language impairment (SLI), participated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Fast ForWord (FFW; Scientific Learning Corporation, 1997, 2001). FFW is a computer-based intervention for treating SLI using acoustically enhanced speech stimuli. These stimuli are modified to exaggerate their time and intensity properties as part of an adaptive training process. All children who participated in the RCT maintained their regular speech and language therapy and school regime throughout the trial. Standardized measures of receptive and expressive language were used to assess performance at baseline and to measure outcome from treatment at 9 weeks and 6 months. Children were allocated to 1 of 3 groups. Group A (n=23) received the FFWintervention as a home-based therapy for 6 weeks. Group B (n=27) received commercially available computer-based activities designed to promote language as a control for computer games exposure. Group C (n=27) received no additional study intervention. Each group made significant gains in language scores, but there was no additional effect for either computer intervention. Thus, the findings from this RCT do not support the efficacy of FFW as an intervention for children with severe mixed receptive-expressive SLI.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by a grant from Action Medical Research. We thank all of the parents and children who volunteered to participate in the study, and the speech-language pathologists, pediatricians, language unit staff, and education departments who helped in recruitment. None of the authors are aware of any conflict of interest with regard to the intervention program or the findings reported here.
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