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Speech Treatment Effects on Narrative Intelligibility in French-Speaking Children with Dysarthria.

Moya-Galé, Gemma; Keller, Bryan Sean; Escorial, Sergio; Levy, Erika S.

Purpose: This study examined the effects of Speech Intelligibility Treatment (SIT) on intelligibility and naturalness of narrative speech produced by francophone children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy (CP).

Method: Ten francophone children with dysarthria were randomized to one of two treatments, Speech Intelligibility Treatment or Hand-arm Bimanual Intensive Therapy Including Lower Extremities, a physical therapy (PT) treatment. Both treatments were conducted in a camp setting and were comparable in dosage. The children were recorded pre- and post-treatment producing a story narrative. Intelligibility was measured by means of 60 blinded listeners’ orthographic transcription accuracy (percentage of words transcribed correctly). The listeners also rated the children’s naturalness on a visual analogue scale.

Results: A significant pre- to post-treatment increase in intelligibility was found for the SIT group, but not for the PT group, with great individual variability observed among the children. No significant changes were found for naturalness ratings or sound pressure level in the SIT group or the PT group post-treatment. Articulation rate increased in both treatment groups, although not differentially across treatments.

Conclusion: Findings from this first treatment study on intelligibility in francophone children with dysarthria suggest that SIT shows promise for increasing narrative intelligibility in this population. Acoustic contributors to the increased intelligibility remain to be explored further.

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Also Published In

Title
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_JSLHR-20-00258

More About This Work

Academic Units
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Published Here
March 16, 2021