Implementation of an early communication intervention for young children with Cerebral Palsy using single-subject research design
Implementation of an early communication intervention for young children with Cerebral Palsy using single-subject research design.
Journal of Clinical Medicine, 12 (1), 232.
The implementation of an intervention protocol aimed at increasing vocal complexity in three pre-linguistic children with cerebral palsy (two males, starting age 15 months, and one female, starting age 16 months) was evaluated utilising a repeated ABA case series design. The study progressed until the children were 36 months of age. Weekly probes with trained and untrained items were administered across each of three intervention blocks. Successive blocks targeted more advanced protophone production and speech movement patterns, individualised for each participant. Positive treatment effects were seen for all participants in terms of a greater rate of achievement of target protophone categories and speech movement patterns. Tau coefficients for trained items demonstrated overall moderate to large AB phase contrast effect sizes, with limited evidence of generalisation to untrained items. Control items featuring protophones and speech movements not targeted for intervention showed no change across phases for any participant. Our data suggest that emerging speech-production skills in prelinguistic infants with CP can be positively influenced through a multimodal intervention focused on capitalising on early periods of plasticity when language learning is most sensitive.
cerebral palsy, early intervention, infant vocalisations, infants, single-subject research design