A Lag in Speech Motor Coordination During Sentence Production Is Associated With Stuttering Persistence in Young Children Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine if indices of speech motor coordination during the production of sentences varying in sentence length and syntactic complexity were associated with stuttering persistence versus recovery in 5- to 7-year-old children. Methods We compared children with persistent stuttering (CWS-Per) ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2017
A Lag in Speech Motor Coordination During Sentence Production Is Associated With Stuttering Persistence in Young Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Evan Usler
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Anne Smith
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Christine Weber
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Evan Usler: eusler@purdue.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Hans-Georg Bosshardt
    Associate Editor: Hans-Georg Bosshardt×
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2017
A Lag in Speech Motor Coordination During Sentence Production Is Associated With Stuttering Persistence in Young Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, January 2017, Vol. 60, 51-61. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0367
History: Received October 26, 2015 , Revised March 25, 2016 , Accepted May 23, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, January 2017, Vol. 60, 51-61. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0367
History: Received October 26, 2015; Revised March 25, 2016; Accepted May 23, 2016
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine if indices of speech motor coordination during the production of sentences varying in sentence length and syntactic complexity were associated with stuttering persistence versus recovery in 5- to 7-year-old children.

Methods We compared children with persistent stuttering (CWS-Per) with children who had recovered (CWS-Rec), and children who do not stutter (CWNS). A kinematic measure of articulatory coordination, lip aperture variability (LAVar), and overall movement duration were computed for perceptually fluent sentence productions varying in length and syntactic complexity.

Results CWS-Per exhibited higher LAVar across sentence types compared to CWS-Rec and CWNS. For the participants who successfully completed the experimental paradigm, the demands of increasing sentence length and syntactic complexity did not appear to disproportionately affect the speech motor coordination of CWS-Per compared to their recovered and fluent peers. However, a subset of CWS-Per failed to produce the required number of accurate utterances.

Conclusions These findings support our hypothesis that the speech motor coordination of school-age CWS-Per, on average, is less refined and less mature compared to CWS-Rec and CWNS. Childhood recovery from stuttering is characterized, in part, by overcoming an earlier occurring maturational lag in speech motor development.

Acknowledgments
This work was funded by a grant from the National Institutes on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (DC00559). Funding for the first author's research was provided, in part, by the Malcolm Fraser Foundation, and with partial support from Grant No. UL1TR001108 (A. Shekhar, PI) from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Clinical and Translational Sciences Award. We wish to thank Dr. Patricia Zebrowski and her research team at the University of Iowa for help with data collection. Special thanks to Megan MacPherson and Janna Berlin for their help in collecting data and Barb Brown for her assistance in recruiting subjects and clinical testing at Purdue University.
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