ITA Clinical Director Helps Develop Speech Therapy App

ITA Clinical Director Jenni Rook, MT-BC, LPC, recently helped complete a new app designed to help speech-impaired individuals.  Part of the VAST-Songs series, a collaborative effort between the speech and music therapy professions, the app is designed to help facilitate and improve communication abilities.  Many of the features and content for the app were guided by Rook, a Neurologic Music Therapist who also performed the vocals for the application. 


Singing has been used as an accepted treatment technique in speech therapy for many years. This practice originated with the awareness that many people with speech problems can sing better than they can speak: using melody and rhythm sometimes enables individuals to say words and phrases that they could not produce under other circumstances. Music stimulates several different areas of the brain and research studies have shown that stimulating these areas  results in improved speech production.


The VAST-Songs series supplements these findings and principles by providing extra cuing: simultaneously hearing the song while following the oral movements.  The series is based on the principles of rhythmic speech cuing (RSC) and melodic intonation therapy (MIT), incorporating both rhythm and melody while stimulating memory and automatic speech with the use of familiar songs.

Key features of the apps include:

  - multiple layers of musical stimulation for individuals with motor speech disorders

  - the ability to adjust the tempo of each song


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