Volume 21 2014
A Survey of the Usage of Nonspeech Oral Motor Exercises by Speech and Language Therapists in the Republic of Ireland
Alice Lee and Niamh Moore
Objectives: To collect information on the usage of nonspeech oral motor exercises (NSOMEs) by speech and language therapists (SLTs) for treating speech sound disorders (SSDs) in children in the Republic of Ireland.
Method: SLTs who had worked with children with SSDs were invited to complete an online questionnaire adapted from a previous survey conducted in the US by Lof and Watson (2008).
Main results: 22/39 (56%) of the respondents reported using NSOMEs. Information from a colleague about the usefulness of NSOMEs, continuing education, and literature influenced the respondents the most to use NSOMEs. Most respondents used NSOMEs as a "warm up", mainly with children with childhood apraxia of speech, dysarthria, and Down Syndrome.
Conclusion: NSOMEs are used by over half of the respondents despite the lack of evidence that supports this treatment approach. Continuous effort to encourage the application of evidence-based practice in clinics is warranted.
Key words: Nonspeech oral motor exercises, speech sound disorders, speech and language therapists, Ireland
A Qualitative Exploration of Maternal Perspectives on the Impact of Stuttering on the lives of 6-10 year old children
Elizabeth Armstrong, Mary-Pat O'Malley Keighran, Patricia Collins and Clare Carroll
Objective: The study aimed to explore maternal perspectives of the impact of stuttering on the lives of 6-10 year old children's relationships, self-identity, and academic development.
Method: A qualitative design was used: five semi-structured interviews were conducted with mothers of children aged 6-10 years who stutter. The data was analyzed using thematic network analysis.
Main results: While participants differed in their perceptions of the extent to which stuttering influenced their child's life, all five discussed aspects of how their child's relationships, self-identity and academic development had been impacted. Mothers described their child's personal characteristics, their school environment, how their child communicated with family members and peers and how others related to their child.
Conclusion: The findings indicate that, when developing goals for therapy, speech and language therapists should consider how stuttering may be affecting a child in all areas of his/her life. An unexpected finding related to maternal stress levels associated with their child's stuttering which may be an important variable to consider in treatment. The findings can inform clinical decision-making regarding treatment goals for children who stutter and their parents.
Keywords: Stuttering, impact of stuttering on children, mothers' perceptions, relationships, communication
What's in an Accent? Perceptions of Young Adult Listeners in Cork and Kilkenny
Nicola Bessell and Eimear Mulhall
Objective: To investigate the perceptions of Irish listeners concerning geographical origin, occupation and socio-economic class, based on speech samples from County Cork; to relate this information to phonetic features of each speaker's accent and recent changes in Irish English.
Method: Recordings of speakers from three locations in County Cork were analyzed for features of supra-regional and advanced Irish English (Hickey, 1998, 2003, 2010). These recordings were played to young adult listeners from counties Cork and Kilkenny. Listeners completed a questionnaire assessing the location, occupation and socio-economic class of each speaker. The results of the questionnaire were compared with the phonetic features of the speakers.
Main results: Diphthongization of FACE and GOAT vowels, [θ, ð] for TH, GOOSE-fronting and emerging velarised /l/ in syllable final position tilt listener judgements towards non-regional, professional and upper middle class. Cork City listeners are most accurate in terms of locating Cork city speakers. Kilkenny listeners are least accurate in identifying speaker location.
Conclusions: Irish English speech varies depending on location and gender. Perceptions of class and occupation are closely tied to gender of speaker and type of phonetic features present. Supra-regional features are increasingly used by young adults in County Cork, and recognized by young adult listeners.
Key words: Accent perception, Irish English, supra-regional Irish English, gender, socio-economic class.