Purpose: To examine the effects of an intensive Smooth Speech therapy technique on the speech production of an individual with ataxic dysarthria and on the individual's level of functioning on the domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Method: This study utilized a single-subject experimental design. One individual with ataxic dysarthria took part in an intensive Smooth Speech therapy programme. Measurements of the participant's speech and level of functioning on the domains of the ICF were made before therapy, after 1 week of intensive therapy, after 7 weeks of follow-up therapy and 4 weeks after completion of therapy. Results: No significant change in speech intelligibility was evident following Smooth Speech therapy. However, significant improvements in the participant's ability to achieve improved speech naturalness through enhanced control of prosodic elements and more comprehensible speech were evident. The participant also demonstrated an improved level of functioning on selected domains of the ICF. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that elements of Smooth Speech Therapy may prove effective in the treatment of ataxic dysarthria, particularly in the treatment of prosodic defects.
- Ataxic dysarthria
- Smooth speech therapy