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ALS and HD Dysarthria: Comparison of Everyday Listeners with High and Low Speech Intelligibility Scores
Estelle R. Klasner, Kathryn M. Yorkston, Jeanne Hoffman

A number of factors affect listeners’ ability to understand dysarthric speech including word boundaries, dysarthria severity, and type of dysarthria. The purpose of the current study is to compare listeners with high intelligibility scores (High Group) to those with low intelligibility scores (Low Group) on sentences produced by speakers with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Huntington disease (HD) dysarthria. Specifically we asked: Do barrier and strategy endorsement patterns vary as a function of high versus low listener intelligibility scores? Results indicated that differences exist between the two listener groups with listeners in the High Group employing strategies that require increases in cognitive processing. In addition, listeners in the High Group appear to apply information garnered from the intelligible portion of utterances (as in HD) in order to predict message meaning. These results suggest that listeners may benefit from learning strategies to better understand dysarthric speech.

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