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Browsing by Subject "äännekoulu"

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  • Dahlgren, Anna (2016)
    Objectives: 18 percent of Finnish children have some kind of articulation problems when starting their school path. Lack of speech therapists and unequal spread of these professionals has reduced possibility to receive speech therapy for mild problems. Instead resources are allocated for clients with severe speech and language disorders. In some municipalities parents and special education teachers are already responsible for the remediation of articulation problems. The aim of this study was to identify if Äännekoulu-website ( can help to rehabilitate articulation problems and if the site will meet the needs of the parents struggling with their children' articulation problem. Methods: The study was qualitatively centred mixed method design that had also some quantitative elements. 21 children between the ages of 5 and 7 with /r/ articulation problem participated in this study. Children were tested three times. Children's spontaneous development of /r/ was controlled by having one month break after the first testing. After the second test families received the right to use Äännekoulu practice materials. Families were instructed to use the site for two months just as regular paying customers would do. Outcome of the intervention was observed during the third test. Families were also given a phone call after one and a half months of the last test to explore the possible changes in the /r/ articulation. In addition families were asked to keep a record of their home practices and answer in a survey concerning the Äännekoulu intervention period. Results and conclusions: Six families dropped out from the intervention. Five children found the right /r/ spontaneously. 12 families participated in the remediation period and one child found the missing /r/. Nine children had no changes in their articulation. From these nine children three continued their practice after the real intervention. During one month of practice two out of these three children found the /r/ completely and one learned to do long /r/-vibration. Families didn't practice a lot and they were unsatisfied with the amount of practice. According to the parents health issues within the family, burdensome family situations, lack of time, child's unwillingness to complete assignments, technical difficulties and laziness were the biggest barriers for practicing. Families considered Äännekoulu to be a good way to practice. Families were pleased about the nice games and the possibility to practise whenever and wherever since the exercises were available online. Unfortunately families trained impractically without knowing it and actually reinforced the incorrect articulation. Parents thought that the visual look of Äännekoulu should be revised and some of them also longed for more diverse games. Still the most crucial target for development in Äännekoulu is the instructions of the assignments. The model of the site hasn't been clear to the users even though families didn't consider the website to be confusing. It's clear that the the instructions have been insufficient since only one family realised how to progress accordingly. On the basis of this study it can be stated that speech therapist's guidance is significant when rehabilitating articulation problems. In the future it would be beneficial to explore, what kind of home instructions help families to execute their role in a best way possible, what is the role of a speech therapist in the future especially when considering telepractice or other technological services and can Äännekoulu fulfill the gap in the field of articulation remediation.