Assessment of childhood apraxia of speech: A review/tutorial of objective measurement techniques

Hayo Terband, Aravind Namasivayam, Edwin Maas, Frits van Brenk, Marja Liisa Mailend, Sanne Diepeveen, Pascal van Lieshout, Ben Maassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: With respect to the clinical criteria for diagnosing childhood apraxia of speech (commonly defined as a disorder of speech motor planning and/or programming), research has made important progress in recent years. Three segmental and suprasegmental speech characteristics-error inconsistency, lengthened and disrupted coarticulation, and inappropriate prosody-have gained wide acceptance in the literature for purposes of participant selection. However, little research has sought to empirically test the diagnostic validity of these features. One major obstacle to such empirical study is the fact that none of these features is stated in operationalized terms. Purpose: This tutorial provides a structured overview of perceptual, acoustic, and articulatory measurement procedures that have been used or could be used to operationalize and assess these 3 core characteristics. Methodological details are reviewed for each procedure, along with a short overview of research results reported in the literature. Conclusion: The 3 types of measurement procedures should be seen as complementary. Some characteristics are better suited to be described at the perceptual level (especially phonemic errors and prosody), others at the acoustic level (especially phonetic distortions, coarticulation, and prosody), and still others at the kinematic level (especially coarticulation, stability, and gestural coordination). The type of data collected determines, to a large extent, the interpretation that can be given regarding the underlying deficit. Comprehensive studies are needed that include more than 1 diagnostic feature and more than 1 type of measurement procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2999-3032
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number8S
StatePublished - Aug 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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