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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Temple: Receives $2.1 Million to Test Treatments for Pediatric Speech Disorder

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a pediatric speech disorder that makes it difficult for kids with normal cognitive and language skills to intelligibly speak the words they want to say. It’s a motor disorder, where speech muscles aren’t weak or paralyzed but the brain can’t properly guide their movements to produce clear speech.

One-on-one therapy can help, and it’s useful to begin early. Dr. Edwin Maas, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders and co-director of the Speech, Language, and Brain Laboratory (known as the SLAB Lab) at Temple University College of Public Health, has been awarded a five-year, $2.16 million grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to test different ways of treating the disorder.

The study will enroll groups of children under age 10 in “intensive summer camp” sessions during the next three summers. The day camps, which will give children with CAS different kinds of one-on-one training with speech-language pathology graduate students under supervision of experienced speech-language pathologists, are aimed at discovering which therapy techniques are most effective at treating CAS.

“The goal,” says Dr. Maas, “is really to help speech-language pathologists make better clinical decisions and ultimately make a difference in people’s lives.”

Read more about the study at the College of Public Health.

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