Sep. 4, 2013 — Children with cerebral palsy could be helped to speak more clearly following research by a University of Strathclyde academic.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is usually caused by an injury to the brain before, during or after birth. Children with CP have difficulties in controlling muscles and movements as they grow and develop.
Discovering more about how the speech of children with CP is affected by muscular problems and brain damage could, Dr Kuschmann believes, lead to improvements in diagnosis and therapy.
She said: “Many children with CP have difficulties with speech melody, rhythm and stress. These difficulties, generally referred to as prosodic difficulties, can affect the intelligibility of a child’s speech, and are therefore of great clinical importance.
“However, the development of prosody in children with CP is currently not well understood. As a result, it is not certain whether prosodic difficulties in CP are due to muscular problems during speaking or the inability to build and store the correct prosodic information in the brain.
“This research will investigate the prosodic abilities in children with CP to determine the underlying nature of their difficulties. It will contribute to the theoretical understanding of the causes of prosodic impairment in CP, and may help to improve diagnosis and therapy of prosodic difficulties in CP.”