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The Effects of LSVT®LOUD (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) on the Speech Intelligibility of Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy and Children with Down Syndrome

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  • Purpose: This study examined the effects of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT®LOUD) on the speech intelligibility of children with cerebral palsy (CP) and children with Down syndrome (DS). Method: Naïve listeners were recruited to decode the pre- and post-treatment recorded single-word speech tokens of 7 children with CP and 9 children with DS in an open-set identification task. A total of 10 speakers responded to the speech token set of each child. The responses were coded for accuracy in whole word intelligibility, percentage of consonants correct, initial consonants correct, final consonants correct, vowels correct, and multisyllabics/syllable structures correct. Paired t-tests were performed for each measure on the pre- and post-treatment tokens. The results were compared to available pre- and post-treatment acoustic data (dB SPL and maximum phonation duration). Parent interview data and pre- and post-treatment rating scales also were analyzed and compared to the results from listener responses. Results: Overall, the listeners were more accurate in decoding the post-treatment speech tokens than the pre-treatment tokens. Parents also perceived improvements in the speech of the children post-LSVT. Conclusions: Improvements in respiratory support and laryngeal control resulting from LSVT have potential spreading effects to the articulatory system that may serve to enhance intelligibility in children with CP and children with DS.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International