Date of Award


Degree Type



Interdisciplinary Studies

First Advisor

Leslie Mahler


Objective: Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder that is characterized by weak, slow, and imprecise movements. Previous research has shown that behavioral treatment can improve speech characteristics and have a positive impact on the intelligibility of people with dysarthria; however, data about the impact of specific treatment approaches is lacking. The purpose of this study is to examine the feasibility of a novel behavioral speech treatment that incorporates principles of motor learning and its impact on communication characteristics of an individual with spastic dysarthria secondary to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Method: This study used a single subject pre-post treatment design to investigate the impact of an intensive behavioral treatment on communication and pragmatic behaviors. The treatment consisted of 24 one-hour sessions administered four times a week for six weeks. Results: The results showed that speech intelligibility scores improved for sentences. Analysis of discourse showed small increases in humor, assertive routines, narrative, and questions. Perceptual measures of voice and speech showed that listeners preferred the participant’s treated speech to his non-treated speech at the sentence level. Articulation measures for the F2 of corner vowels increased following treatment. Statistically significant increases in dB SPL were found for single words and sentence repetition (p