An investigation into speech errors made during imitated and spontaneous speech production in children with Down's syndrome.
(2016) An investigation into speech errors made during imitated and spontaneous speech production in children with Down's syndrome., no. 57.
Aims: Down's Syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of an intellectual disability (Barnes et al. 2009). Problems with speech production are amongst the most commonly reported difficulties for individuals with DS (Kumin 2006). Literature has noted increased skills in imitation compared to spontaneous speech (Dodd 2013). This study investigated the difference between speech errors made during imitated and spontaneous speech production in children and adolescents with DS. The assessments used were the CSIM for imitation and the DEAP for spontaneous speech. Method: Data previously collected from a Medical Research Council funded project was used. Data was collected using phonetic transcription and the International Phonetic Alphabet (International Phonetic Association 2005) chart. Data was analysed using a classification scheme adapted from the PPSA (Bates and Watson 2012). Results: The results show that a lower cognitive age displays a greater variability in the percentage of consonants correct between imitation and spontaneous speech. The majority of participants increased in their total number of errors during spontaneous speech, with all participants showing an equal or greater number of consistent error types in spontaneous speech. Younger participants displayed a greater number of error types in imitation whilst older participants contrasted in a greater number of errors during spontaneous speech. All participants had a mixed profile of typically developing and non-developmental errors. Conclusion: For the majority of individuals studied, spontaneous speech had greater speech sound errors than their imitation task. This concludes speech assessments cannot be used on their own within individual with DS. The assessment method chosen has an effect on the types and frequency of errors observed. A selection of elicitation and spontaneous speech tasks need to be used.