Voice and Speech Treatment in Spastic CP

This study focuses on the effects of a specific speech treatment in children with CP. The hope is that this work will lead to National Institute of Health and Canadian Institutes for Health Research grant applications to fund large-scale treatment studies, the results of which have the potential to significantly affect voice and speech treatment delivery to children with CP. This pilot study focuses on speech deficits in spastic CP, the most common type of CP, which causes a high degree of muscle tightness. It affects approximately 50% of cases. Speech deficits associated with CP can have significant functional consequences on children, affecting their potential for academic advancement, social and emotional development, and eventual independence and participation in the work force. Trial and error interventions characterize current best practice in voice and speech treatment with this population, resulting in frequent mismatches. This study will generate insight on how to enhance treatment outcomes and extend the duration of treatment effects. Ultimately the goal will be to predict which types of structural and functional brain profiles respond best to a complex continuum of treatment approaches.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Carol A. Boliek, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta in Canada.