Acoustic characterization of dysarthria in children with cerebral palsy : exploring age-related effects

Kuschmann, Anja and van Brenk, Frits (2019) Acoustic characterization of dysarthria in children with cerebral palsy : exploring age-related effects. In: Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc., Canberra City, pp. 3031-3035. ISBN 9780646800691

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    Abstract

    The speech of children with dysarthria and cerebral palsy (CP) is characterized by respiratory, phonatory and articulatory difficulties. Whilst, traditionally, speech deviations were described perceptually, the focus has recently shifted to acoustic measures to quantify the children’s speech changes more objectively and systematically. This study investigated the role of age in acoustically characterizing dysarthria in children with CP. Speech samples of eight children were analyzed using various acoustic measures and compared to those of typically-developing peers. Results showed overall group differences for several acoustic measures. Additionally, the degree to which acoustic measures may differentiate children with CP and their peers is influenced by age, with various measures found to be more suitable in differentiating older affected and unaffected children (13-18 years) compared to younger ones (7-8 years). This finding suggests that age is important when selecting acoustic markers of dysarthria, with some markers constituting more sensitive measures than others.