Treating Speech Comprehensibility in Students With Down Syndrome Purpose This study examined whether a particular type of therapy (Broad Target Speech Recasts, BTSR) was superior to a contrast treatment in facilitating speech comprehensibility in conversations of students with Down syndrome who began treatment with initially high verbal imitation. Method We randomly assigned 51 5- to 12-year-old ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2016
Treating Speech Comprehensibility in Students With Down Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paul J. Yoder
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Stephen Camarata
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Tiffany Woynaroski
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Disclosure: Paul J. Yoder and Stephen Camarata are the primary authors of the Broad Target Speech Recasts approach. Neither receives financial gain from the use of this treatment.
    Disclosure: Paul J. Yoder and Stephen Camarata are the primary authors of the Broad Target Speech Recasts approach. Neither receives financial gain from the use of this treatment. ×
  • Correspondence to Paul Yoder: Paul.Yoder@vanderbilt.edu
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Ewa Jacewicz
    Associate Editor: Ewa Jacewicz×
Article Information
Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2016
Treating Speech Comprehensibility in Students With Down Syndrome
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2016, Vol. 59, 446-459. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-S-15-0148
History: Received April 20, 2015 , Revised November 9, 2015 , Accepted November 10, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2016, Vol. 59, 446-459. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-S-15-0148
History: Received April 20, 2015; Revised November 9, 2015; Accepted November 10, 2015

Purpose This study examined whether a particular type of therapy (Broad Target Speech Recasts, BTSR) was superior to a contrast treatment in facilitating speech comprehensibility in conversations of students with Down syndrome who began treatment with initially high verbal imitation.

Method We randomly assigned 51 5- to 12-year-old students to either BTSR or a contrast treatment. Therapy occurred in hour-long 1-to-1 sessions in students' schools twice per week for 6 months.

Results For students who entered treatment just above the sample average in verbal-imitation skill, BTSR was superior to the contrast treatment in facilitating the growth of speech comprehensibility in conversational samples. The number of speech recasts mediated or explained the BTSR treatment effect on speech comprehensibility.

Conclusion Speech comprehensibility is malleable in school-age students with Down syndrome. BTSR facilitates comprehensibility in students with just above the sample average level of verbal imitation prior to treatment. Speech recasts in BTSR are largely responsible for this effect.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by Institute of Education Science Grant R324A100225 (Principal Investigators: P. Yoder & S. Camarata) and supported by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development through Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Grant P30HD15052 (Principal Investigator: E. Dykens). The project described was supported by CTSA award No. KL2TR000446 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (Principal Investigator: G. Bernard). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Institute of Education Science, the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, or the National Institutes of Health.
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