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Unlocking Success in Articulation Therapy: Insights from Recent Research

Unlocking Success in Articulation Therapy: Insights from Recent Research

As a practitioner in the field of speech pathology, you are continually seeking methods to improve your practice and ensure the best outcomes for your students. One such method, explored in the research article "The Use of Competing Speech for Making Dismissal Decisions in Articulation Therapy," provides valuable insights into the process of making accurate dismissal decisions in articulation therapy. This blog aims to distill the key findings of this research and suggest practical ways to implement these insights into your practice.

Understanding the Research

The study conducted by Campbell, Manning, Robertson, and DiSalvo (1976) focused on determining the readiness for dismissal from therapy in elementary school children with /r/ or /s/ misarticulations. The researchers administered the Deep Test of Articulation under three conditions:

The results indicated that using performance on the Deep Test with masking as a criterion for dismissal was significantly more accurate than using performance without masking. Specifically, 94% of the children would have been correctly dismissed using the masked test compared to 77% with the unmasked test.

Implementing Research Findings

Based on these findings, here are several actionable steps you can take to enhance your articulation therapy practice:

  1. Incorporate Auditory Masking: Use auditory masking with competing speech during the final stages of therapy to better assess automatization of correct phoneme production. This can help you make more accurate dismissal decisions.
  2. Monitor Performance Over Time: Administer the Deep Test of Articulation both with and without masking, and track progress over several months. This longitudinal approach can provide a clearer picture of a child's readiness for dismissal.
  3. Customize Therapy Based on Individual Needs: Recognize that the sound pressure level (65 dB SPL or 85 dB SPL) did not significantly impact the accuracy of dismissal decisions. Therefore, choose the level that is most comfortable and effective for each child.
  4. Continue Professional Development: Stay updated with the latest research and methodologies in speech pathology. Attending conferences, webinars, and reading relevant publications can help you stay informed and improve your practice.

Encouraging Further Research

While the study provides valuable insights, it also highlights the need for further research. Future studies could explore the effects of different types of auditory masking and investigate the automatization of other phonemes. By engaging in ongoing research and staying informed about new findings, you can continue to enhance your practice and contribute to the field of speech pathology.

To read the original research paper, please follow this link: The Use of Competing Speech for Making Dismissal Decisions in Articulation Therapy

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