Intensive Voice Treatment (LSVT®) for Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy

C. Fox, C Boliek


Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most common movement disorder in children.  It has been reported that 59-88% of these children have speech or voice disorders; however, there are limited published outcome data on speech treatment approaches for these children.  Recent advances in theories of motor development and behavioral gait and limb treatment provide a framework (consistent with theories of motor learning) from which to test different speech treatment concepts (e.g., intensive treatment, high effort exercises, repeated practice trials, and sensory awareness training) in children with spastic CP.  The purpose of this study was to determine if voice treatment, which incorporates intensive practice of speech exercises with sensory awareness training (LSVT®), can facilitate improved speech and voice functioning in children with spastic CP.  Results revealed positive treatment outcomes in all four children with CP who received treatment (e.g., improved acoustic measures of speech and voice, listener preferences for treated speech samples, and parents’ perception of speech and voice).  No changes were observed in the one participant with CP who did not receive treatment.  These findings are consistent with those in limb and gait treatment literature, thus highlighting potential key treatment concepts to consider in behavioral treatment for children with spastic CP.