Comparing local vs. global strategies for treating Childhood Motor Speech Disorders
Lab Members: Kate Connaghan, Rupal Patel
Prosodic modulation strategies are commonly used to improve intelligibility in motor speech disorders (dysarthria and apraxia of speech). These strategies may be implemented globally, across the entire utterance (e.g., slowed rate, increased loudness) or locally, with a focus on specific words or phrases (e.g. emphatic stress). A common goal of these strategies is to increase vowel space area (VSA) as reduced VSA due to vowel centralization has been documented in a number of populations with dysarthria and VSA is positively correlated with intelligibility. To date however, little is known about the impact of such strategies when used by children with motor speech impairment.
Using an audio-visual elicitation technique, this project investigates the impact of prosodic modulation on vowel acoustic and perceptual intelligibility in this population. These findings will inform both our understanding of the underlying nature of childhood motor speech disorders, as well as our understanding of the role of prosodic modulation in their treatment. Preliminary research conducted in our lab suggests that children with motor speech programming deficits improve vowel intelligibility when implementing some prosodic modulation strategies. This research is on-going, with data collection continuing with children with dysarthria secondary to motor disorders such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and with children with apraxia of speech (CAS).
To participate in this study, here is our flyer
Connaghan, K.P. & Patel, R. (in press). Impact of prosodic strategies on vowel intelligibility in childhood motor speech impairment. Journal of Medical Speech Language Pathology.