About the efficacy of the Vocabulary Acquisition and Usage for Late Talkers (VAULT) Language Treatment via teletherapy

Yolanda Trentadue, MA, CCC-SLP | Speech Language Pathologist
July 11, 2023

Intensity and frequency matter, especially when you are trying to help your child increase his/her vocabulary. If your child is less than 30 months and has not been diagnosed with any neurogenic conditions (such as Autism, ADHD) and has less than 50 words in his/her vocabulary, you and your SLP can take a look at a language treatment to increase vocabulary in late talkers called the Vocabulary Acquisition and Usage for Late Talkers (VAULT).

After the Covid-19 pandemic, researchers looked at the feasibility of applying the VAULT intervention via teletherapy. This language intervention treatment is supervised via videoconferencing (such as Zoom, or another HIPPA-approved video conferencing platform) by a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist who provides coaching to a parent of a “late talker” (the child is 30 months or younger and does not speak 50 or more words and is not putting two words together). The parent then conducts the sessions in a friendly environment (e.g., a home environment).

Intervention Practices Guidelines

  1. Select words that you want your child to use the most (about 20)
  2. The dose number is the number of doses per target per session; provide 68 doses per target word (270 doses/4targets)
  3. The intensity of modeling the target words is 9 doses per minute. The verbal models are provided in a variety of activities (related to the target words)
  4. The suggested dose form is to use focused stimulation procedures using a variety of linguistic contexts and various activities. For example, use the target words repeatedly in different contexts; you can eat an apple, wash an apple, cut an apple, buy an apple, make apple pie, shred an apple, draw an apple, taste an apple, and drink apple juice (totaling 9 models)
  5. The suggested target rotation frequency when the target is produced in three out of five sessions – Wait for spontaneous production of the target word (don’t say “say this word” for example)
  6. The suggested frequency of sessions is 30 minutes (leaving you with 7 – 8 minutes per target)
  7. The total duration of intervention = 8 weeks of treatment

At the end of the intervention, you should reach 270 doses applied x 2 times per week (session frequency) x 8 weeks (total intervention duration) = total number of doses 4,320 (Alt et al., 2020, 2021).

Target Words
Choose target words that your family uses the most in the home environment, it can be toys, most frequently used objects, or pets.

Target Activities
Play-based activities are probably the best during daily routines. You can combine using the target words during both of these activities, for example, you can use a real apple when eating a snack and use a play apple when playing with your child.

Frequency of Sessions
Two weekly sessions each of 30 minutes for a total of 8 weeks.

This study proved the efficacy of this intervention treatment via teletherapy which should help increase your late talker’s expressive vocabulary.



Sources Cited (APA): Mettler, H. M., Neiling, S. L., Figueroa, C. R., Evans-Reitz, N., & Alt, M. (2023). Vocabulary acquisition and usage for late talkers: The feasibility of a caregiver-implemented telehealth model. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 66(1), 257–275. 

Downloaded from: Yolanda Trentadue on 06/27/2023 

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