Positive effects of the Beatalk technique on speech characteristics of young adults with intellectual disability

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Background: The Beatalk technique is a speech therapy method, based on human beatboxing, involving intense, rapid repetitions of speech-like sounds. The goals of the current feasibility study were to test its effect in enhancing articulation accuracy and voice measures in a small group of adults with intellectual disability (ID), using a wide range of measures of verbal communication, and to refine the treatment protocol. Methods: A group pre-test–post-test experimental design was used (n = 12). Treatment consisted of ten weekly group sessions of 40 min, each followed by two self-practice sessions. Changes in speech intelligibility, voice, and communication skills were assessed. Results: The findings indicate significant improvements in speech production and intelligibility measures (Percentage of Consonant Correct, and staff-member intelligibility scores), voice measures (vocal loudness, Harmonic-Noise-Ratio, shimmer, and jitter) and staff-member communication scores. Implications: These results extend our understanding of the effects of the Beatalk technique, and suggest that it may have potential as an effective intervention for adults with ID. As the experimental design is limited in its ability to yield strong conclusions, further controlled studies are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-961
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023


  • Beatalk
  • human beatboxing
  • intellectual disability
  • speech impairments
  • speech intelligibility


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