By: Lawrence D. Shriberg
Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
We have proposed that programmatic studies of apraxia of speech as it reportedly occurs in diverse neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders can inform research on the core features and diagnostic markers of idiopathic Childhood Apraxia of Speech, a putative pediatric speech sound disorder . This paper describes the research plan, summarizes primary elements of the speech assessment and analysis methods, and reports summary perceptual and acoustic findings from four initial studies. Assessment of speech, prosody, and voice for signs of apraxia of speech consistent with contemporary diagnostic perspectives was completed on four study groups: a sample of adults with acquired apraxia of speech, a mother and daughter with a chromosome translocation disrupting FOXP2, three siblings with an unbalanced 4;16 chromosome translocation, and eight children and adolescents with classic galactosemia. Positive findings from the four studies are interpreted as support for the research framework. Discussion focuses on the theoretical and clinical implications of a unified perspective on the core features, signs, and diagnostic markers of CAS in neurodevelopmental and idiopathic contexts.