Monitoring of respiratory patterns and biosignals during speech from adults who stutter and do not stutter: A comparative analysis

Stuttering is a common speech disorder that can impact in the quality of life of adults who stutter (AWS). In order to manage this condition, it is necessary to measure and assess the stuttering severity before, during and after any therapeutic process. To evaluate it, monitoring biosignals -included the respiratory patterns – could be an option; however is not clear the difference between speech conditions. Therefore, we compare the respiratory patterns and biosignals during speech of adults who stutter (AWS) and who not stutter (AWNS) to describe the differences and patterns of blocks and fluent speech. Sixty-six participants (AWS=33, AWNS=33) were asked to perform a reading task. We record the respiratory patterns and biosignals (pulse, saturation and galvanic response) using standardized system. We assess the differences among three conditions: fluent speech from ANWS, blocks from AWS and fluent speech from AWS. A higher number of expiratory volume peaks and amplitudes were found during the blocks segments compared to the fluent speech segments. These different patterns could be used to differentiate speech conditions using a recognition algorithm to automate evaluations in a real-time environment for stuttering diagnosis or follow-up.

Villegas, Bruno, Flores, Kevin M., Pacheco-Barrios, Kevin & Elias, Dante. (2019) Monitoring of respiratory patterns and biosignals during speech from adults who stutter and do not stutter: A comparative analysis. 2019 13th International Symposium on Medical Information and Communication Technology Oslo, Norway. DOI: 10.1109/ISMICT.2019.8743844

 

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Cerebral laterality as assessed by hand preference measures and developmental stuttering

The causes of developmental stuttering, a neurodevelopmental communicative disorder, have not been elucidated to date. Neuroimaging studies suggest that atypical cerebral laterality could be one of such causal factors. Moreover, handedness, a behaviour l index for cerebral laterality, has been linked to stuttering and recovery from it. However, findings are conflicting, possibly due to sample selection procedures, which typically rely on self-reported stuttering, and to the fact that handedness is typically assessed with regards to its direction rather than degree. We investigated the possible relationship between handedness and stuttering. This is the first study where children who stutter (CWS) were selected using clinical criteria as well as speech samples and where a non-Western population was studied. Findings from 83 CWS aged 3–9 years (mean = 6.43, SD = 1.84) and 90 age- and sex-matched children who do not stutter (mean = 6.45, SD = 1.71) revealed no differences in their hand preference scores as evaluated by parent-completed Edinburgh Handedness Inventory, for both direction and degree. The severity of stuttering was not found to correlate with the degree of handedness. We suggest that parents and professionals not treat left- or mixed-hand preference as a reason for concern with regards to stuttering.

Mohammadi, Hiwa & Papadatou-Pastou, Marietta. (2019) Cerebral laterality as assessed by hand preference measures and developmental stuttering. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body Brain and Cognition https://doi.org/10.1080/1357650X.2019.1621329

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Method and device for detecting speech patterns and errors when practicing fluency shaping techniques

A method and system for detecting errors when practicing fluency shaping exercises . The method includes setting each threshold of a set of thresholds to a respective predetermined initial value ; analyzing a voice production to compute a set
of first energy levels composing the voice production , wherein the voice production is of a user practicing a fluency shaping exercise ; detecting at least one speech – related error
based on the computed set of first energy levels , a set of second energy levels , and the set of thresholds , wherein the detection of the at least one speech – related error is with
respect to the fluency shaping exercise being practiced by the user , wherein the set of second energy levels is deter mined based on a calibration process , and generating feed
back indicating the detected at least one speech – related error

Rot, Moshe, Gan, Ramal, RKothschild, Lilach, & Lerner, Samdar. (2019)  Method and device for detecting speech patterns and errors when practicing fluency shaping techniques. United States Patent Application Publication. https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/8d/f4/9c/753408ef8e1382/US20190150826A1.pdf

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Implementation factors are neglected in research investigating telehealth delivery of allied health services to rural children: A scoping review

Rural children are likely to benefit from the telehealth delivery of multidisciplinary allied healthcare. This study aimed to (a) identify the scope of literature describing the telehealth delivery of allied health services to children living in rural areas and (b) understand the extent to which implementation – that is, specific activities designed to put telehealth into practice – has been investigated in such literature.

Data were extracted from 23 papers (two randomized controlled trials, one pseudorandomised controlled trial, one non-randomized experimental trial, two interrupted time series without parallel control groups, 10 case series and seven studies of diagnostic yield). Most were level III (n = 4) or IV (n = 17) when classified according to National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines. One study met all Critical Skills Appraisal Program quality criteria. Allied healthcare interventions were aimed at improving functioning in communication (n = 10), behavior and socio-emotional domains (n = 8) and identifying hearing concerns (n = 5). Many studies (n = 12) identified implementation facilitators, largely training and equipment. Only one study referred to an explicit framework for telehealth implementation (user-centred design).

Future research should target occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics and social work, and determine the implementation factors and models likely to create successful telehealth services for this population.

Campbell, J., Theodoros, D., Hartley, N., Russell, T., & Gillespie, N. (2019). Implementation factors are neglected in research investigating telehealth delivery of allied health services to rural children: A scoping review. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633X19856472

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7 Ways to Help Children Who Stutter Overcome Bullying

Children who stutter experience bullying more often than other children. This presents a significant challenge for children, parents, and speech-language pathologists. Because of their speaking difficulties, children who stutter may also struggle to cope with bullying. To overcome this problem, they need the help of caring, qualified speech-language pathologists.

Speech-language pathologists can help children minimize the occurrence and the adverse impact associated with bullying.4, 5, 6 School-wide bullying prevention programs have been developed specifically to help children who stutter. These involve strategies both for the child who stutters and for those in the child’s environment.

Yaruss, J. Scott. (2019) 7 Ways to Help Children Who Stutter Overcome Bullying. line https://www.medbridgeeducation.com/blog/2019/04/7-ways-to-help-children-who-stutter-overcome-bullyingaid6436/

 

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Relative Contribution of the Stuttering Impact Scores of the OASES

Stuttering is a communication disorder that includes a range of observable and unobservable behaviors. Beyond its ability to impede the effectiveness and efficiency of speech, the condition of stuttering is also associated with a number of factors that can potentially result in more global negative impacts. The purpose of this project was to design a series of studies, bridging the gaps between various findings and concepts, leading to a better understanding of the overall impact of stuttering on the individual. Study the author explored co-existing developmental conditions in children who stutter in an attempt to identify factors that may place an additive contribution to impaired well-being. Results showed that children who stutter are at greater odds of experiencing co-existing developmental conditions, likely influencing impaired well-being. Study II utilized results from the first study to isolate children who stutter with and without co-existing developmental conditions, to allow for a more informed examination on impaired well-being. Results showed that children who stutter are at greater odds of suffering from issues beyond difficulties with communication, including increased worry, unhappiness, and social distress. Given the number of factors capable of contributing to stuttering’s impact on the individual, Study III was designed to determine if various aspects of the experience of stuttering, as reflected by the various sections of a commonly utilized comprehensive assessment tool, contribute differently towards the overall impact of the disorder. Results showed that pretreatment differences exist in contributors to the overall impact of stuttering. Additionally, pretreatment differences exist in contributors to the overall impact of stuttering as a function of age. This information is beneficial to researchers and clinicians alike in that it provides specific guidance as to what determines increased impact in children and adults who stutter. Future works should pursue clarification of these differences with an end goal of identifying and addressing barriers to positive outcomes while also identifying and nurturing facilitators to optimal stuttering management.

Briley, Patrick. (April 2019). Relative Contribution of the Stuttering Impact Scores of the OASES (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship.  http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7215.

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