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Measuring speech motor skills in normally developing and phonologically disordered pre-school children

By Wendy Cohen and Daphne Waters


Normally developing and phonologically disordered 3 and 4year -old children (groups N and P) were compared on measures of articulation rate in imitated and spontaneous connected speech and in diadochokinetic (DDK) tasks. The P group exhibited significantly slower mean articulation rates than the N group in the connected speech samples. There was no significant difference between the group means for DDK rates. However, the P subjects, when required to articulate at maximum speed in the DDK task, were more likely than the N subjects to make pronunciation errors additional to those observed in their spontaneous and imitated speech. Implications of the findings for the clinical evaluation of speech motor abilities in young children are discussed. 1. INTRODUCTION Children who present with disordered speech development in the absence of known pathology, usually labeled phonologically disordered, may have a variety of deficits underlying their surface speech errors. Their difficulties may b..

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