2013 National Conference Speaker/Session Spotlight: Tricia McCabe, Ph.D.

2013 National Conference Speaker/ Session Spotlight

Thursday, July 11 – Saturday, July 13, 2013 at Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center

Tricia McCabe, Ph.D., is Course Director and Senior Lecturer at The University of Sydney. Her main research area is treatment for moderate-severe speech impairments in children. Within this area she has a number of interests including (a) treatments for Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) (also known as dyspraxia), (b) disorders of speech which cause impairments to production of polysyllabic words and longer linguistic units, (c) the comparison of phonological and articulation treatments to demonstrate relative effectiveness and efficiency and (d) the use of ultrasound for biofeedback in speech pathology. With her colleagues, Elizabeth Murray and Kirrie Ballard, she has recently completed a Randomised Control Trial comparing ReST with the Nuffield Dyspraxia Program (3rd ed). Other research projects in CAS currently underway include: Developing parent delivered interventions for children with CAS in both Australia and Canada; projects trialing computer delivered versions of ReST and NDP3; and a longitudinal study of speech development in children with early identified ASD. She is Chair of the International CAS Assessment Consortium. This Consortium hopes to develop agreed reporting standards to be used in research involving children with CAS. Tricia is particularly interested in the application of the principles of speech motor learning to new treatments for CAS particularly and articulation and voice disorders more generally. She is also interested in the application of Evidence Based Practice (EBP) in speech pathology and speech pathology service delivery innovations.

You are traveling a very long way to speak at the 2013 National Conference on CAS. What are you looking forward to the most?
“I’m excited to meet a wide range of people who are all interested in CAS and very excited to share our new treatment and our research results. It’s very exciting to have done the first ever randomized control trial of treatments for children with CAS and I want as many people as possible to know about it.”

What makes our National Conference on CAS so different from other conferences?
“The variety of people: parents, children, clinicians and researchers all together.”



ReST: A New Treatment for Prosody and Speech Accuracy for School-Aged Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Rapid Syllable Transition Training (ReST) is a recently developed treatment for improving prosody and speech accuracy in children aged 4-12. ReST uses pseudo-words of 2-3 syllables to target syllable segregation, lexical stress and articulatory consistency and accuracy in high intensity drill based therapy. We have recently completed a randomized control trial of ReST which shows that the treatment is effective and generalizes to untreated words. In our recent research, we also showed that children who had treatment 4 days per week for 3 weeks continued to improve for up to 4 months after the treatment stopped. This workshop will describe the background to the treatment, the research including the RCT and other studies including parent training and a trial of computer delivery, and describe who the treatment might suit. Participants will watch the therapy being conducted and will learn to judge correct and incorrect target productions.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will be able to describe the theoretical background of the Rapid Syllable Transition Training (ReST).
  • Participants will be able to describe the major components of the treatment.
  • Participants will be able to identify correct and incorrect production of the treatment stimuli.


The information presented in your session might be fairly new information for many of the participants.  Why do you feel it’s important to have this additional tool available in the treatment of children with CAS?
“Having treatment that has been shown to be effective at improving speech and prosodic accuracy in children aged 4-12 is a huge leap forward. Until now the best research evidence we have had has been group studies where the children were not randomized and follow-up data was not collected. Our new treatment, ReST, shows excellent results.”