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Efficacy of Broad Target Speech Recasts on Students with DownSyndrome


The goal of this project is to conduct an efficacy trial (Goal 3) to determine whether Broad Target Speech Recasts (BTSR) significantly improves generalized speech comprehensibility in the connected speech of elementary school students with Down syndrome (DS). The target population is students ages 5 -12 years with Down syndrome with have less than 75% speech comprehensibility and below the 10th percentile in speech accuracy. BTSR will be compared to an off-the-shelf articulation program, Easy Does It  for Articulation: An oral motor approach (EDI). Using a well-defined contrast therapy enables an mediational analysis, which will shed light on the active ingredient in BTSR. Two putative moderators of BTSR's effect on growth of speech comprehensibility will also be tested. Sixty-three children will be randomized at the student level into one of the two treatment groups. Children in both groups will be offered two 1-hour sessions per week for 24 weeks in their schools. Treatments will be provided by project-provided speech language therapists. Children in both groups will be assessed at 5 time points (before treatment, 2 and 4 months into the treatment phase, immediately after intervention, at 2 months after the treatment phase); thereby enabling an analysis of treatment effects on growth of speech comprehensibility. The results of this project will provide immediately useful information regarding the efficacy of a promising new speech therapy method for an under-served population to address a functionally important outcome, as well as student subgroups for which it works best, and information relevant to understanding why it works.  Grant ID: 250