The effects of two speech interventions on speech function in pediatric dysarthria

Erika S. Levy, Lorraine O. Ramig, Stephen M. Camarata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Reduced speech function is a primary disability in children with cerebral palsy (CP) who have the motor speech disorder of dysarthria. Interventions for pediatric dysarthria with evidence of efficacy are greatly needed. The present exploratory study examined the effects of two intervention methods on three children with CP: (1) Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD), an intensive single-focus intervention protocol that increases sound pressure level (SPL), intelligibility, and vowel space in adults with dysarthria due to Parkinson Disease (PD) and has recent evidence suggesting effectiveness for children with CP, and (2) "Traditional" intervention, representing "treatment as usual," consisting of instruction on breath control, positioning, articulation, and other behaviors. Examination of caregiver questionnaires, articulation assessment, and blinded listener ratings revealed greater speech function and articulatory precision, as well as utterances more often preferred and perceived as "easier to understand" after intervention. LSVT LOUD resulted in increases in speech function and SPL. Traditional resulted in increased speech function without increasing SPL. Thus, both interventions show promise for yielding increased speech function in children with dysarthria, although success may vary across linguistic levels and children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Intelligibility
  • Pediatric dysarthria
  • Speech therapy


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