What is it about?

A previous single subject design study demonstrated that intensive voice treatment could improve communication abilities in select children with cerebral palsy. We were able to validate those initial findings in this second study. We demonstrated similar outcomes in improvements in speech and how listeners perceived speech for some of the children with cerebral palsy after the treatment. We also expanded our outcomes measures to explore parent perspectives regarding communication and the experience with speech treatment.

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Why is it important?

Beyond validating findings in our initial study, the extensive parent interviews included here provided unique insights into the the challenges and hopes parents have for their children to be able to successfully communicate. Before therapy, stresses faced by parents included the effort required by family members and children to successfully communicate. Further, parents were discouraged at the limited speech services provided to their children which placed an extra burden on them to fill the gap. After treatment, parents observed improvements in their children's communication. They also were notably happy with the increased confidence their children had in communicating. An unexpected new stress that was added post-treatment was "will my child maintain this improvement?" and the the challenge of keeping up daily speech practice.


This study provided some needed validation of our previous work, but what I felt was more important was the added perspective of parents of children with cerebral palsy. Their perspectives were far reaching from fears, hopes, and frustrations. It taught me that as researchers and clinicians we have a lot of room for improvement in terms of communication with families, services provided and supported by school/healthcare/government agencies and our ability to have follow-up support over the child's lifetime.

Dr Cynthia Marie Fox
LSVT Global, Inc.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Therapeutic effects of intensive voice treatment (LSVT LOUD®) for children with spastic cerebral palsy and dysarthria: A phase I treatment validation study, International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, October 2016, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/17549507.2016.1221451.
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