Motor Speech: Sound Production Treatment

Motor Speech: Sound Production Treatment

In celebration of my launch of Functional Treatment for Motor Speech, this blog series looks closer at individual treatments for dysarthria and apraxia.

As someone who embraces the Life Participation Approach in speech therapy, it’s my aim to provide any sort of speech therapy in a way that improves functional outcomes. We are used to seeing this with language, and maybe cognition, but Motor Speech treatment needn’t be excluded! While it is an impairment-level problem, I believe that we can focus on function by 1. Using words and phrases that MATTER (personally-relevant) and 2. Include SPEAKING (not just speech) and real-life practice within our therapy sessions and home programs.

Today, let’s talk about Sound Production Treatment.

What is Sound Production Treatment (SPT)?

Sound Production Treatment is a treatment hierarchy for sound production / accuracy in apraxia of speech, targeting consonant sounds. This falls under an articulatory-kinematic approach for treatment of apraxia, and has some of the strongest research in the field of apraxia.

Who should I use SPT with?

Research is somewhat limited. SPT has been used with those with apraxia of speech, and shown to be beneficial for mild to severe apraxia. It has been used with those who have concomitant aphasia as well. No other specific guidelines are available.

What sort of goals would SPT address?

  • Improved accuracy of target sound at sound, word, phrase, or sentence level
  • Improved accuracy of trained sounds in untrained words

What does the evidence say I should expect?               

Research has shown promise of generalization to untrained words (with the trained sounds).

How does SPT relate to a person-centered approach?

SPT is not inherently person-centered, and the research is impairment-focused. However, I’ve included ideas to use personally-relevant words with SPT in a way that is communication-focused in Functional Treatment for Motor Speech, which tends to be a primary activity goal for patients. SPT allows flexibility to target sounds based on a person’s needs or desires. 

How Can I Use Rhythmic Speech Cueing in Speech Therapy?

I’ve got you covered! As a clinical SLP, it’s my pleasure to bring ready-to-use resources for other SLPs that work in the clinical setting (without outside planning time). I ‘ve compiled MANY different treatments for dysarthria and apraxia, along with the scoring, in-session, home program, goal-writing, and functional ideas you need in Functional Treatment for Motor Speech. Hop on over to check it out – I hope you love it.

Key References

Bailey, D., Eatchel, K., & Wambaugh, J.L. (2015). Sound Production Treatment: Synthesis and quantification of outcomes. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24, S798-S814.

Wambaugh, J., & Mauszycki, S. (2010) Sound production treatment: Application in severe apraxia of speech. Aphasiology, 24, 814-825.

Waumbaugh, J., et al. (2017). Effects of blocked and random practice schedule on outcomes of sound production treatment for acquired apraxia of speech: Results of a group investigation. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 1739-1751.

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