Patients and caregivers should be aware that there is little research to support consistent success with MIT. Theoretically, this form of therapy has the potential to improve speech communication to a limited extent.
Melodic intonation therapy was originally developed as a treatment method for speech improvements in adults with aphasia. The initial method has had several modifications, mostly adaptations for use by children with apraxia. The primary structure of this therapy remains relatively consistent however.
- Level I: The speech therapist hums short phrases in a rhythmic, singsong tone. The patient attempts to follow the rhythm and stress patterns of phrases by tapping it out. With children, the therapist uses signing while humming and the child is not initially expected to participate. After a series of steps, the child gradually increases participation until they sign and hum with the therapist.
- Level II: The patient begins to repeat the hummed phrases with the assistance of the speech therapist. Children at this level are gradually weaned from therapist participation.
- Level III: For adults, this is the point where therapist participation is minimized and the patient begins to respond to questions still using rhythmic speech patterns. In children, this is the final level and the transition to normal speech begins. Sprechgesang is the technique used to transition the constant melodic pitch used up to this point with the variable pitch in normal conversational speech.
- Level IV: The adult method incorporates sprechgesang at this level. More complex phrases and longer sentences are attempted.
Preparation for MIT involves some additional research into the therapy and discussions with a neurologist and a speech pathologist. It is important to have an understanding of the affected brain areas. MIT is most likely to be successful for patients who meet certain criteria such as non-bilateral brain damage, good auditory aptitude, non-fluent verbal communication, and poor word repetition. The speech pathologist should be familiar with the different MIT methodologies as they relate to either adults or children.
The expected outcome after completion of the MIT sequence is increased communication through production of intelligible word groups. Patients are typically able to form short sentences of 3–5 words, but more complex communication may also be possible depending on the initial cause of speech impairment.
Bonakdarpour, B., A. Eftekharzadeh, and H. Ashayeri. "Preliminary Report on the Effects of Melodic Intonation Therapy in the Rehabilitation of Persian Aphasic