Objective: This study examined longitudinal change in speech intelligibility, vowel space, and word duration over 18 months among children with cerebral palsy (CP) who varied in the severity of their speech motor involvement. The study also examined relationships among variables at each time point. Method: Twenty-two children with CP participated in the study (mean age = 50 months at the first time point). Speech samples were collected at four time points that were 6 months apart. Children were separated into four severity groups based on intelligibility scores. Results: Change over time varied by severity. Children with CP who did not have speech motor involvement and children in the mild group showed gains in intelligibility, but no changes in vowel space area or word duration. Children in the moderate group showed no significant change, and children in the severe group showed increased vowel space and decreased word durations. Significant positive correlations between intelligibility and vowel space were noted at each time point for data pooled across all children. Conclusion: Children showed different patterns of change over time in intelligibility, vowel space, and word duration based on their speech motor abilities. The relationship between intelligibility and vowel space across severity groups was constant, suggesting a robust relationship between these variables.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing
- LPN and LVN