Speech in children with cerebral palsy

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Mei, Cristina
Reilly, Sheena
Bickerton, Molly
Mensah, Fiona
Turner, Samantha
Kumaranayagam, Dhanooshini
Pennington, Lindsay
Reddihough, Dinah
Morgan, Angela T
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2020
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Abstract

Aim: To examine the frequency, characteristics, and factors associated with speech delay and disorder in a community sample of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Method: Participants were 84 children (37 females, 47 males; aged between 4y 11mo–6y 6mo) with CP identified through a population-based registry. Speech and oromotor function were systematically evaluated to provide a differential diagnosis of articulation, phonological, and motor speech disorders. Results: In total, 82% (69/84) of participants had delayed or disordered speech production, including minimally verbal presentations (n=20). Verbal participants (n=64) presented with dysarthria (78%), articulation delay or disorder (54%), phonological delay or disorder (43%), features of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) (17%), or mixed presentations across these conditions. Speech intelligibility was poorest in those with dysarthria and features of CAS. Speech delay or disorder in verbal participants was associated with language impairment (p=0.002) and reduced health-related quality of life (p=0.04) (Fisher’s exact test). Poorer speech accuracy (i.e. lower percentage consonants correct) correlated with greater impairments in both language (p<0.001) and oromotor function (p<0.001) (Spearman’s test). Interpretation: The speech profile of children with CP is characterized by impairment at multiple levels of speech production (phonetic, cognitive-linguistic, neuromuscular execution, and high-level planning/programming), highlighting the importance of a personalized differential diagnosis informing targeted treatment.

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Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology

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This publication has been entered in Griffith Research Online as an advanced online version.

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Biomedical and clinical sciences

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Life Sciences & Biomedicine

Clinical Neurology

Pediatrics

Neurosciences & Neurology

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Mei, C; Reilly, S; Bickerton, M; Mensah, F; Turner, S; Kumaranayagam, D; Pennington, L; Reddihough, D; Morgan, AT, Speech in children with cerebral palsy, Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 2020

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