Loyola University Maryland

Emerging Scholars

Shannon Katz, Kathleen Siren, Ph.D.

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Spectrographic Biofeedback during Speech Therapy

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Acoustic analysis, or the visualization of acoustic features of speech, is a widely available, yet largely unutilized, tool for use in therapy for individuals with articulation disorders.  Although many studies have utilized acoustic analysis to document normal versus disordered speech productions, few studies have applied this technology during the course of speech therapy.  Until recently, most speech-language pathologists did not have access to, or resources for, the use of such procedures.  However, acoustic analysis software is now readily available for use as a visual feedback tool for clients during speech therapy.  The purpose of this investigation is to assess the usefulness of visual feedback of acoustic features of speech as a treatment strategy for articulation therapy of individuals with /s/ misarticulations. 

Utilizing an easily accessible and easily learned software system, WaveSurfer, speech-language pathologists will incorporate spectrographic visual feedback into therapy sessions with children with disordered /s/ productions.  The effectiveness of the use of the spectrographic biofeedback will be assessed through surveys of the clinicians and clients, and through documented rate of improvement in sound production. 

Results will be discussed with regard to:  1) feasibility of use and clinician training needed, 2) clients for whom visual spectrographic biofeedback might be most useful, and 3) the best way to incorporate such procedures into ongoing speech therapy.