Effects of two intervention strategies on intelligibility in cerebral palsy

By K.C. Hustad and J.M. Garcia


Speech interventions for individuals with Cerebral Palsy have traditionally focused on improving underlying speech subsystem problems.  However, recent research suggests that compensatory strategies that provide listeners additional contextual information such as the first letter of each spoken word (alphabet supplementation), can have a positive effect on intelligibility for individuals with CP (Hustad & Beukelman, 2001).  Similar findings have been reported about the use of iconic gestures while speaking for some individuals with acquired dysarthria (Garcia & Dagenais, 1998).  The relative effectiveness of alphabet supplementation compared with iconic gestures and habitual speech for individuals with dysarthria is unknown.  The present study, part of a larger ongoing project, will provide preliminary data regarding the effectiveness of alphabet cues and iconic gestures relative to habitual speech without any compensatory cues for one speaker with spastic dysarthria as the result of CP.  In addition, the effects of these strategies on speech production will also be analyzed through examination of intelligibility data obtained from the auditory modality alone as compared with the joint auditory-visual modality.