JCDAT- Archive

Volume 2, Issue 1 J Commun Disorder Assist Technol 2018

DAF as Instrumental Treatment for Stuttering in Parkinson’s Disease: A Case Report

Carmichael CM

Delayed auditory feedback (DAF) increases fluency in many persons who stutter. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) present with voice and speech changes with some experiencing stuttering as an effect of the disease. The purpose of this case study was to investigate the use of DAF in a male who acquired stuttering associated with PD. The 79-year-old wore a DAF device during 2 hours per week of speech therapy for 3 months. Results from this study show DAF during speech therapy increased fluency by nearly 20% and decreased dysfluency duration by almost 3 seconds. 

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The Effect of Voice Gender and Spoken Messages in Augmented Interactions

Lapham K, and Seale J

A speech-generating device is often implemented to aid communication for those with limited ability to produce mouth speech. Although these devices have come a long way since their initial development, there are still pervasive problems regarding augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology. These problems include communication rate, the intelligibility of the synthesized voice, and the effectiveness of the synthesized speech to transfer information for a variety of interactions. Additionally, the device is responsible for portraying unique information about the augmented speaker, including their competence, individuality, and identity. This study investigated the impact of computer-generated voice output in routine social interactions. Using an AAC application and an iPad, the primary investigator approached 6 novel communication partners under 3 speech output conditions: female, male, and speech-off. Findings suggest a minimal effect on gendered speech output. Interestingly, results indicate that the speech-off condition may be more efficient for information-seeking interactions. More research is needed on synthesized voices to address these issues and determine future directions for AAC technology.

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The Effects of the “Speak with Intent” Instruction for Individuals With Parkinson’s Disease

June S. Levitt and Delaina Walker-Batson

The goal of the present study was to examine the changes in the quality of the voice signals and the perception of Quality of Life (QOL) of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) as a result of the “Speak with Intent” instruction of the SPEAK OUT!® treatment program for PD. The SPEAK OUT!® program utilizes an instruction as “Speak with Intent” combined with a group therapy program called LOUD Crowd® that follows the one-on-one SPEAK OUT!® program to maintain improved verbal communication. Twenty-three individuals with PD participated in one of the two conditions. Seventeen participants were in the Treatment group, and six participants were in the Control group. Each participant’s voice was recorded four times over the 12-week research period at equal intervals. Outcome measures included (1) the mean vocal intensity from passage reading, (2) Cepstral Peak Prominence (CPPS), (3) Acoustic Voice Quality Index (AVQI), and (4) Voice-Related Quality of Life (V-RQOL). The group differences were contrasted as a between- subject factor. The changes over time were examined as a within-subject factor. The participants in the Treatment group showed statistically significant main effects of the pre- and post-treatment measurements in all aspects. The participants in the Control group showed minor or no changes over the 12-week research period. The “Speak with Intent” instruction resulted in improved vocal intensity, voice signals, and perception of the Quality of Life.

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Volume 1, Issue 3 J Commun Disorder Assist Technol, 2017

Educating Children With Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders in the Classroom

Enwefa RL and Enwefa SC

Researchers have reported that children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) respond to sensory experiences contrarily than their peers without disabilities. Sensory processing disorders (SPD) in children are becoming more recognized among health professionals and educators. This study examined prevalence and incidence of autism and sensory processing disorders in addition to the science, red flags, parental support, treatment, and classroom modifications of sensory processing disorders. Also, highlighted were the characteristics of sensory processing disorders and the team of professionals who treat children with autism and sensory processing disorders.

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AA Comparison of Digitized and Synthetic Speech Outputs to Teach Requesting to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

 Ramdoss S, Raulston T, and Haira A

Few studies have compared different augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) intervention components (e.g., symbol sets, instructional strategies) involving individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. This study compared the relative efficacy of digitized and synthetic speech outputs using voice output communication aids (VOCA) with two children, ranging from 3-5 years old with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and limited functional communication. This study utilized an adapted alternating treatments design, aimed at teaching basic level requesting skills in two different settings. Visual analysis of the results indicated a divergence in the rate of skill acquisition for speech outputs, and the overall outcome emphasized the need for individualizing AAC intervention packages by taking AAC component options such as speech outputs into consideration. Implications for both special educators and speechlanguage pathologists working with children with ASD, limitations, and directions for future research are provided.

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Volume 1, Issue 2 J Commun Disorder Assist Technol, 2017

Deviations of Voice Characteristics in Female Speech Therapy Students that Smoke Using Dr. Speech

Tafiadis D, Toki EI and Ziavra N

It is established in the literature that smoking has an impact on voice characteristics, especially on fundamental frequency (F0). The smoking effect has been studied in general and in student populations by sex or profession. The purpose of this study was to examine the voice acoustic characteristics of smoking students in Greece. Particularly, this study focused on the early effects of smoking.

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Promoting Reading Success: The Effects of an Adapted Book on Reading Comprehension

Thomas D, Ross B

Picture symbols paired with written words are commonly used in adapted literacy materials and augmentative and alternative communication systems to support the development of speech and language skills in a wide range of populations. However, the research base on the effectiveness of pictures paired with text in increasing reading comprehension is limited. In addition, communicative reading strategies (CRS) have been used as an effective shared reading approach to facilitate reading acquisition in children with low reading skills and with children who use picture/text symbols, such as AAC users. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an adapted book, combined with CRS in improving reading comprehension for a child at risk for learning how to read. One kindergarten child, aged 6:1 with poor reading skills attended twelve 15-minute sessions of the intervention. A formal assessment of reading comprehension and an informal set of story-related questions were used to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Improvement was noted in reading comprehension and comprehension of story-related questions. The use of an adapted book and CRS may be an effective intervention for children with low reading skills, such as those with complex communication needs.

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How Neuro-typical Kindergartners Learn from Each Other: A Baseline of Peer Learning

Mlawski EA*, DeLuca D, Cahill TF2and Pinto-Zipp G

School based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) help promote functional language and communication skills among children in and out of the classroom. With the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) requiring children to work with their peers for the purpose of learning, SLPs can be a resource to classroom teachers on how to best promote the skills needed when peers work with peers. The purpose of this article is to identify the baseline behaviors that neuro-typical children use when working with a peer while engaging with each other during a contrived learning activity and to provide practical implications for SLPs when collaborating with teachers to maximize peer learning at school and at home.

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Bibliometric Analysis of Publications on Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Survey of Electronic Databases

Krüger S*, Audet L, Renner G, Guimarães A, Berberian AP, and Guarinello AC

This paper uses bibliometric analysis to explore current trends in the production and dissemination of research in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). The history of AAC as a set of nonverbal communication systems and a scientific field of study from the German, North American, and Brazilian perspectives provides a foundation for understanding the importance of considering cultural influences on the development and application of scientific advances. Bibliometric results suggest that the United States perspective on the theory, development, and implementation of AAC pervades the literature. This may either restrict the adoption of AAC in certain cultures or result in AAC globalization, reflecting the United States perspective. The analysis supports the need for dialog among researchers across cultures and for further research specific to cross-cultural collaboration and problem-solving in the area of AAC.

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Volume 1, Issue 1 J Commun Disorder Assist Technol, 2017

Case Report: Improving Language and Reading Outcomes with A Systematic Technology Based Approach: Two Cases

Raupp SL and Markley B

Literacy Speaks! is a paper-based hierarchical approach to improving reading fluency and speech intelligibility. However, researchers have demonstrated that incorporating technology into activities improves outcomes for individuals with attention deficits or autism. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a technology- based systematic approach to improving literacy and speech intelligibility for children with communication disorders. Two children (aged 10 and 13 years) with communication disorders attended twelve 30-minute intervention sessions delivered by a speech-language pathologist and two speech pathology students who all received training in the delivery of the Literacy Speaks! program. Observations, as well as changes in selected test performance, were used to measure intervention effectiveness. Although speech intelligibility decreased in both cases, both children improved various skills related to reading and language. Adapting Literacy Speaks! to a technology platform may be an effective language intervention for older children with communication disorders.

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Short Communication: Low Tech AAC/High Impact Results

Backes LS and Cole LM

For the past 10 years, my colleague and I have supervised graduate student clinicians at a local community agency that serves adults with developmental disabilities. The mission statement for the Lowndes Advocacy Resource Center (LARC) is as follows: “providing people with disabilities opportunities for working and living in the community.” This agency provides opportunities for adults to participate in leisure activities of shopping, entertainment, and dining within the community as well as contract work for various businesses. It is accredited by Council for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and has a memorandum of understanding with the university to serve as a clinical site for Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) majors.

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Research: Provision of Audiologic Care in Nursing Homes: A Study of In-service Training with Facility Staff Members

Lamb HB, Jones AL

Objectives: To investigate the knowledge of nursing home staff members regarding hearing loss topics in the elderly.

Method: An educational training presentation was designed to determine if a single in-service training yielded significant improvement in audiological competency among nursing home staff members as related to self-perceived confidence working with residents with hearing impairment. An online survey was administered prior to and following the training.

Results: Post-training survey responses indicated significant improvement in personal confidence regarding hearing loss and training with hearing aids.

Discussion: Education regarding hearing loss topics in the elderly should be a part of training for nursing home and assisted living facility staff to improve communication between the residents with hearing impairment and staff.

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Research: Listener Response to Dialect in Music: A Comparison of Speakers of African American Dialect and Nondialect Speakers

Parker CR, Reeves-Pelt R

African American Vernacular English (AAVE) is considered a variation of Standard American English (SAE). Speakers of AAVE and SAE view the contrasting language differently. Both types of expressive language are found in music. The opinions regarding each are relevant to the perception of preference of one to the other. The purpose of this study was to investigate how listeners from different linguistic backgrounds respond to music with lyrics that have AAVE compared to the same song sung without dialectal features. The results revealed that overall the male AAVE speakers and female SAE speakers rated the AAVE version favorably. The female AAVE speakers and male SAE speakers least preferred the AAVE version. The male and female SAE speakers rated the SAE version favorably. These results were consistent with the researcher’s hypothesis that the SAE speakers would prefer the SAE version when compared to the AAVE speakers. However, the female AAVE speakers’ preference for the SAE version was not consistent with the researchers’ hypothesis. These results might be attributed to participants’ linguistic community.

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