Swallowing and Motor Speech Skills in Unilateral Cerebral Palsy: Novel Findings From a Preliminary Cross-Sectional Study

Georgia A. Malandraki, Samantha S. Mitchell, Rachel E.Hahn Arkenberg, Barbara Brown, Bruce Craig, Wendy Burdo-Hartman, Jennifer P. Lundine, Meghan Darling-White, Lisa Goffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Our purpose was to start examining clinical swallowing and motor speech skills of school-age children with unilateral cerebral palsy (UCP) compared to typically developing children (TDC), how these skills relate to each other, and whether they are predicted by clinical/demographic data (age, birth history, lesion type, etc.). Method: Seventeen children with UCP and 17 TDC (7–12 years old) participated in this cross-sectional study. Feeding/swallowing skills were evaluated using the Dysphagia Disorder Survey (DDS) and a normalized measure of mealtime efficiency (normalized mealtime duration, i.e., nMD). Motor speech was assessed via speech intelligibility and speech rate measures using the Test of Children’s Speech Plus. Analyses included nonparametric bootstrapping, correlation analysis, and multiple regression. Results: Children with UCP exhibited more severe (higher) DDS scores (p =.0096, Part 1; p =.0132, Part 2) and reduced speech rate than TDC (p =.0120). Furthermore, in children with UCP, total DDS scores were moderately negatively correlated with speech intelligibility (words: r = −.6162, p =.0086; sentences: r = −.60792, p =.0096). Expressive language scores were the only significant predictor of feeding and swallowing performance, and receptive language scores were the only significant predictor of motor speech skills. Conclusions: Swallowing and motor speech skills can be affected in schoolage children with UCP, with wide variability of performance also noted. Preliminary cross-system interactions between swallowing, speech, and language are observed and might support the complex relationships between these domains. Further understanding these relationships in this population could have prognostic and/or therapeutic value and warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3300-3315
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume65
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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