Speech Buddies Are Clinically Effective in Treating Articulation Disorders

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A recently published research study showed that a handheld tool called Speech Buddies, made by Articulate Technologies, Inc., can help children achieve 90 percent speaking accuracy after only four hours of speech therapy. This is over three times faster than normal learning rates. (1)

The clinical study investigated the efficacy of introducing tactile feedback using the Speech Buddy "Rabbit" tool for a misarticulation of the R sound. The Speech Buddy is used as a tactile cue to teach students how to produce the R sound correctly. The Rabbit Speech Buddy works by prompting a child to unroll a flexible wound-up coil with the tip of his tongue in the precise motion necessary to correctly produce the R sound. The tactile cue is then faded over the course of therapy as the child masters the correct movement. In this study, 90 percent speaking accuracy on a 50-word test was achieved after only four hours of therapy using the Speech Buddy. Industry standards estimate an average of 14 hours of traditional therapy is required to achieve this same result. (1)

Measurement was then performed 10 weeks later to determine if these results were maintained or "generalized." The results show average accuracy was maintained at a "mastery" level of the problem sound.

"The study results confirm that tactile feedback is one of the best methods in helping children overcome articulation disorders quickly. By practicing the correct movement using Speech Buddies, a child can correct her speech impediment much faster than without this tactile cue," said Gordy Rogers, MS CCC-SLP, Chief Scientific Officer of Articulate Technologies, Inc., the makers of Speech Buddies. "The body of research showing similar results has been growing in recent years, but what makes this study unique is that it shows that the learning is not just temporary. Children can maintain the learning achieved from tactile feedback over time."

7.5 percent of school-age children have an articulation disorder and not being able to say the R sound correctly is the most common type of articulation disorder with the longest average remediation time. Speech impediments are generally treated by speech therapy lessons with a certified speech-language-pathologist that includes auditory and visual cues. Speech Buddies are the first FDA-listed tool to add a systematic, consistent tactile cue to more effectively treat articulation disorders.

"This technology has enabled schools and clinics across the country to change the paradigm in how they treat speech disorders. The standard of care is rising and it is very exciting," Rogers said.

This study was published in the Ohio Speech Language Hearing Association Journal eHearsay, http://www.ohioslha.org/pdf/MembersOnly/Journals/eHearsay2013-Medical.pdf.

For more information, visit: http://www.speechbuddy.com.

(1) Jacoby, G., Lee, L., Kummer, A., Levin, K., & Creaghead, N. (2002). The number of individual treatment units necessary to facilitate functional communication to improvements in the speech and language of young children. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11, 370-380.

About Articulate Technologies, Inc.:

Articulate Technologies is committed to improving the lives of people living with speech and communication disorders by providing clinically proven treatment options. Articulate Technologies was born from a team of speech pathologists and MIT trained engineers who were frustrated by the lack of new technology available to speech therapists. Articulate Technologies’ first product line, Speech Buddies, are designed to treat articulation disorders in children. The company launched a follow-on product line, Language Buddies in 2012 that enables correct pronunciation for children and adults learning to speak English.

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Jenn Heflin
Articulate Technologies, Inc.
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