First Advisor

Mary Gordon-Brannan

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




Speech therapy for children, Articulation disorders in children, English language -- Phonemics



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, v, 44 p.)


One of the most common articulation errors made by children is on the phoneme Ir I. Treatment techniques for this sound have varied and have included the stimulus approach (Van Riper, 1972), phonetic placement techniques (Scripture, 1923), the sensory-motor approach (McDonald, 1964), the motokinesthetics approach (Young & Hawk, 1938), and sequential programming approach (Shriberg, 1975; Wood, 1988), to name a few. An integral part of many of these treatment methods is the use of the auditory stimulation. An innovative technique using a prosthetic device to facilitate the production of Ir I was used by Leonti, Blakeley, and Louis (1975), in the treatment of a 9.8 year old male. A follow-up study was conducted by Clark, Schwarz, and Blakeley, (1993) in which a prosthetic device, the R-appliance, was used to facilitate the production of Ir I at the word level. The results of the study indicated that the appliance facilitated the production of Ir I in isolation, in words, and in spontaneous speech. The present study investigated the use of the R-stick appliance as a facilitative device for the production of the Ir/ phoneme at the word level. It was hypothesized that the experimental group (R-stick) would have higher mean scores at the word level than the control group (no R-stick). This hypothesis was not supported by the data. Both groups showed significant improvements in their Ir I word productions, but no difference was shown between the two treatment approaches. There are several possible reasons for these results: (a) insufficient training with the use of the R-stick and the treatment protocol, (b) lack of probes during the course of the study, (c) length of treatment, (d) the small number of subjects participating in the study, and (e) the R-stick appliance is a clinician-manipulated tool.


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