The Effects of Masking and Bite Block Placement on the Speech of an Adult With Verbal Apraxia: a Pilot Study

Date of Graduation

Spring 2004


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Lynette Goldberg


Apraxia of speech (AOS) has been defined as a sensori-motor speech disorder. Adults with AOS experience notable difficulty with the rapid, smooth, and effortless production of speech, particularly when speech is propositional. Systematic motorically-oriented treatment approaches have been developed but their functional effectiveness remains limited. Approaches that involve the manipulation of sensory feedback, particularly the use of masking in noise (M) and the oral placement of a bite block (BB), have been shown to be effective with other motor speech disorders. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of these approaches on the speech of an adult with AOS. Five listeners used a visual analog scale to rate recordings of the participant's speech under M and BB conditions. Ratings were made on six perceptual dimensions: intelligibility, coherency, loudness, intonation, ease of production, and rate. The adverse effect of the BB condition on intelligibility and coherency was noteworthy. This pilot study was valuable in identifying and clarifying the issues that need to be considered in further studies to examine the effects of M and BB on speech production in adults with AOS.


apraxia of speech, masking, bite block, perceptual measurement, naturalness

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


© Dana E. Boatman