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October 2021

The use of singing to improve articulatory accuracy in a child with apraxia and dysarthria

Abstract: A single subject, diagnosed as having severe oral apraxia and dysarthria, participated in an eight-week research experiment designed to study the effects of singing on speech articulation. A simultaneous treatment design was used in which the subject participated in both the experimental and control conditions. In the control condition spoken words were repeated by the subject, while in the experimental condition the words were sung. The words used were the lyrics to two popular folk songs. Articulatory accuracy (intelligibility) was judged by two graduate level speech therapists, based on audiotape samples of the subject's responses, recorded on a "language Master" machine. Judges were also asked to rate their degree of confidence about their judgements. Results indicated significantly higher scores at the .05 level for the singing condition than for the non-singing condition. Degree of confidence ratings were similar for both conditions. It was also observed that a significantly number of consonant blends were correctly articulated in the singing condition than in the non-singing condition.

Keyword(s): Singing, articulation, child, apraxia, dysarthria, "language-master"-machine.

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