CASANA Awards Treatment Research Grant to University of New Mexico/PROMPT Institute

Pittsburgh, PA, January 19, 2010—The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA), through its Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) Treatment Research Grant Program, has selected a collaborative proposal from Philip Dale, Ph.D., University of New Mexico and Deborah Hayden, MA, CCC-SLP, of the PROMPT Institute as recipient of its newest Treatment Research Award. An external expert committee along with two parents of affected children, representing consumer interests, selected their proposal, “The Efficacy of PROMPT for Children with Apraxia of Speech.”

Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a motor speech disorder in which children have difficulty planning movements of the tongue, lips and jaw in order to produce clear speech. PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is a speech therapy approach which focuses on motor speech, linguistic, and social communication goals. However, PROMPT’s most known feature is the use of tactile cues to support and shape speech movements in order to improve the production of syllables, words and connected speech. The underlying assumption is that tactile cueing will facilitate improvement in articulatory movements and lead to more intelligible speech. It is theorized that the additional sensory input provided by the tactile cues may facilitate speech motor learning in children with apraxia of speech. In the CASANA funded study, researchers will investigate differences in speech motor behavior, articulation, and speech intelligibility in children with CAS who undergo PROMPT therapy, with and without the use of its tactile cues.

Philip S. Dale, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of New Mexico is principal investigator on the funded study. His research has focused on assessment of early language, genetic and environmental influences on language development, the transition from oral language to literacy, and the effects of intervention for language and related disabilities. He is a co-developer of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories which have been adapted into more than 30 languages, and is currently Editor of the Journal of Child Language. His research has been recognized by his election as a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Association for Psychological Science.

Deborah A. Hayden, M.A., CCC-SLP, SL-P(C), Reg. CASLPO, Founder and Executive Director of the PROMPT Institute located in Santa Fe, New Mexico and an adjunct professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of New Mexico and the University of Queensland, Australia will serve as co-investigator of the CASANA funded study. Her research has been primarily in the area of adult and pediatric motor speech disorders. She has co-authored two tests, The VMPAC (Verbal Motor Production Assessment for Children) and the EMCS (Early Motor Control Scales). Ms. Hayden founded the PROMPT Institute, a non-profit corporation, for the purposes of treatment, training and research in speech production disorders.

The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) is the only national non-profit public charity exclusively dedicated to the needs and interests of children with apraxia of speech and their families. The organization strives to improve the systems of support in the lives of children with apraxia so that each child is afforded their best opportunity to develop speech and to achieve to their potential. CASANA works toward this mission through promoting awareness of childhood apraxia of speech; providing high quality information and support; conducting multiple educational workshops and conferences each year; and funding treatment research. For more information on CASANA and Childhood Apraxia of Speech visit the Apraxia-KIDS website at