Lenden & Flipsen (2007)

August 26, 2015

NATURE OF PROSODIC DISORDERS

ANALYSIS FORM

 

Key:

 

CA = chronological age

CI = Cochlear Implant

HA = Hearing Age

HI = hearing impaired

NA = not applicable

P = participant

PIA = Post-Implantation Age

pmh = Patricia Hargrove, blog developer

PVSP = Prosody-Voice Screening Profile

 

SOURCE: Lenden, J. M., & Flipsen Jr., P. (2007). Prosody and voice characteristics of children with cochlear implants. Journal of Communication Disorders, 40, 66-81.

 

REVIEWER(S): pmh

 

DATE: August 24, 2015

ASSIGNED GRADE FOR OVERALL QUALITY: C+ (The highest grade for this type of design is C+.)

 

POPULATION: Cochlear Implants, Hearing Impairment; Children

 

PURPOSE: To identify aspects of prosody and voice that are problematic for children with cochlear implants (CI) and developmental trends relevant to prosody and voice.

 

INSIGHTS ABOUT PROSODY:

  • In this longitudinal investigation, the children with CI did not display problems with phrasing and pitch noted in children with hearing impairment (HI). Children with CIs and problems with Phrasing and Pitch might warrant special attention in therapy.
  • Resonance and stress continued to be problematic for most children with CI and did not improve with age. Accordingly, they may be aspects of voice/prosody that clinicians focus attention on in intervention.
  • The investigators noted that the number of participants (Ps) was small and that further research is needed.
  • The investigators recommended that the Prosody-Voice Screening Profile (PVSP) be considered in long-term monitoring of the prosody and voice of children with HI.

 

 

  1. What type of evidence was identified? Longitudinal Research
  1. Group membership determination:
  • If there were groups of participants were members of groups matched? Not applicable (NA.) There was only one group.
  1. Was participants’ communication status concealed?
  • from participants? No

                                                                    

  • from assessment administrators? No

                                                                    

  • from data analyzers? Yes, raters were presented with samples in random order to avoid bias (relative to change over time.)

                                                                    

 

  1. Were the participants adequately described? Yes

How many participants were involved in the study? 6

  • total # of participants: 6
  • was group membership maintained throughout the experiment? Yes
  • # of groups: 1
  • # of participants in the group: 6

 

– The following variables were controlled:

  • hearing status: Prelingually deaf (mean age of identification = 8 months; range 0 to 15 months)
  • time since CI: at least 18 months
  • language modality: spoken language only as primary mode of communication
  • receptive language: Receptive Vocabulary is within 2 standard deviations of the mean for P’s chronological age (CA); Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test III—mean standard score 82.3 months; range 72 months to 99 months

 

– The following variables were controlled described:

  • age at beginning of investigation: mean 5 years; range 3 years, 9 months to 6 years, 2 months
  • gender: 1m; 5f
  • cognitive skills: no known disability
  • mean time (hearing aid use + CI) amplified at the beginning of the investigation: mean 4 years, 4 months; range 2 years, 10 months to 5 years, 3 months
  • age of implantation: mean 28 months; range 20 months to 3 years
  • cause of hearing impairment (HI): unknown (5); partial agenesis of the cochlea (1)
  • physical skills: no known disability
  • emotional status: no known disability
  • implant type: Clarion (2); Nucleus 24 (2); Nucleus 22 (1)
  • intervention: all received prior intervention; oral mode was the focus of the interventions; interventions continued for all participants (Ps) throughout the investigation
  • educational level of clients: all in regular classrooms

 

– Were the communication problems adequately described? No. The investigators were vague about the general level of expressive and receptive language of the Ps but the Ps were capable of some conversational speech.  

 

  1. What were the different conditions for this research?

– Subject (Classification) Groups? Yes. All the Ps all were prelingually deaf.

                                                               

– Experimental Conditions? No

 

– Criterion/Descriptive Conditions? Yes– Ratings of conversational samples on the Prosody-Voice Screening Profile (PVSP).

 

  1. Were the groups controlled acceptably? NA

 

 

  1. Were dependent measures appropriate and meaningful? Yes

– The dependent measures were

  • Dependent Measure #1: Ratings on the Phrasing section of the PVSP
  • Dependent Measure #2: Ratings on the Rate section of the PVSP
  • Dependent Measure #3: Ratings on the Stress section of the PVSP
  • Dependent Measure #4: Ratings on the Loudness section of the PVSP
  • Dependent Measure #5: Ratings on the Pitch section of the PVSP
  • Dependent Measure #6: Ratings on the Laryngeal Quality section of the PVSP
  • Dependent Measure #7: Ratings on the Resonance Quality section of the PVSP
  • Dependent Measure #8: Relationship between measures of the PVSP and 3 age variables: Chronological Ages (CA), Hearing Age (HA), and Post-Implantation Age (PIA)
  • Dependent Measure #9: Changes with age on ratings on the PVSP

All of the dependent measures were subjective.

None of the dependent/ outcome measures were objective.

                                         

 

  1. Were reliability measures provided?

Interobserver for analyzers? No

 

– Intraobserver for analyzer?   Yes

  • Dependent Measure #1: Ratings on the Phrasing section of the PVSP = 100%
  • Dependent Measure #2: Ratings on the Rate section of the PVSP = 92%
  • Dependent Measure #3: Ratings on the Stress section of the PVSP = 83%
  • Dependent Measure #4: Ratings on the Loudness section of the PVSP = 95%
  • Dependent Measure #5: Ratings on the Pitch section of the PVSP = 94%
  • Dependent Measure #6: Ratings on the Laryngeal Quality section of the PVSP = 92%
  • Dependent Measure #7: Ratings on the Resonance Quality section of the PVSP = 85%
  • Overall PVSP score: 92%

Treatment/Procedural fidelity for investigators? No

 

  1. Description of design:
  • This longitudinal investigation involved 6 children with CIs.
  • Spontaneous samples of conversational speech were elicited every 3 months for time ranges varying from 12 to 21 months.
  • The prosody and voice characteristics of the Ps’ speech was determined from the samples that were analyzed using the PVSP.
  • The results were presented primarily using descriptive and correlational statistics as well as descriptions of developmental trends.

 

  1. What were the results of the inferential statistical testing? The only inferential testing mentioned in the manuscript was when correlations were reported for correlations. Those results will be presented in the correlational statistical testing section of this review.

 

 

  1. What were the results of the correlational statistical testing?

 

  • The relationships between measures of the PVSP and 3 age variables (CA, HA, PIA) were explored in 2 ways: (1) by correlating the combined PVSP and age scores of all 6 Ps and (2) ) by correlating the combined PVSP and age scores of only 5 Ps. (One set of P data were omitted because of the possibility of the child being a high performing outlier.)
  • The significant correlations ( p ≤ 0.05) were

–Ratings on the Stress section of the PVSP

  • stress ratings and HA for the 5 member set of Ps: r = 0.354
  • stress ratings and PIA for the 5 member set of Ps: r = 0.341

 

Rating of the Laryngeal Quality section of the PVSP

  • laryngeal quality ratings and CA for all 5 and 6 member sets: for 5 member set r = 0.554 and for 6 member set r = 0.421
  • laryngeal quality ratings and HA for all 5 and 6 member sets: :   for 5 member set r = 0.562 and for 6 member set r = 0.528
  • laryngeal quality ratings and PIA for all 5 and 6 member sets: :   for 5 member set r = 0.571 and for 6 member set r = 0.382

Rating of the Resonance Quality section of the PVSP

  • resonance quality and PIA: for the 5 member set r= 0.335
  • The investigators interpreted the correlations to indicate that at least for Stress, Laryngeal Quality, and Resonance Quality performance tended to improve with age.
  • What was the statistical test used to determine correlation? Not provided

 

  1. What were the results of the descriptive analysis
  • The investigators provided pooled data representing correct scores on the PVSP.
  • In line with the PVSP protocol, they also provided data describing the number of samples (remember each P is represented by multiple samples) in which P’s performance was classified as passed, borderline, or failed.

Dependent Measure #1: Ratings on the Phrasing section of the PVSP: 97% appropriate; 36 Ps passed; 4 borderline; 0 failed

 

Dependent Measure #2: Ratings on the Rate section of the PVSP: 88% appropriate; 22 Ps passed; 13borderline; 5 failed

Dependent Measure #3: Ratings on the Stress section of the PVSP: 48% appropriate; 2 Ps passed; 5 borderline; 33 failed

Dependent Measure #4: Ratings on the Loudness section of the PVSP: 92% appropriate; 32 Ps passed; 2 borderline; 6 failed

Dependent Measure #5: Ratings on the Pitch section of the PVSP: 98% appropriate; 38 Ps passed; 2 borderline; 0 failed

Dependent Measure #6: Ratings on the Laryngeal Quality section of the PVSP: 87% appropriate; 24 Ps passed; 7 borderline; 9 failed

Dependent Measure #7: Ratings on the Resonance Quality section of the PVSP: 10% appropriate; 0 Ps passed; 1 borderline; 39 failed

  • The investigators also described the changes in performance of individuals over time.

Dependent Measure #9: Changes with age on ratings on the PVSP

–   All Ps performed appropriately for the Phrasing and Pitch Sections of the PVSP.

– 4 of the 6 Ps did not improve on the Stress Section of the PVSP with performance remaining unacceptable throughout the investigation. However, 2 of the Ps appeared to improve.

– 5 of the 6 Ps did not evidence problems Loudness and their performance level remained stable. The remaining P did have a reduced score and did improve. The improvement seemed to be more related to the comfort level of the P and it was suspected that the initial poor score was not a problem.

–3 of the 6 Ps produced stable and relatively appropriate Laryngeal Quality during the investigation. One P was unstable at the beginning of the investigation and the other 2 Ps showed a tendency to improve

– 4 of the 6 Ps produced stable but inappropriate Resonance Quality throughout the investigation. One P showed improvement during the investigation. The remaining P started to improve and then performance regressed.


Russo et al. (2008)

June 30, 2015

NATURE OF PROSODIC DISORDERS

ANALYSIS FORM

 

Key:

 

ASD = Autism spectrum disorders

fo = fundamental frequency

H2 = second harmonic

NA = not applicable

P = participant or patient

pmh = Patricia Hargrove, blog developer

TD = typically developing

WNL = within normal limits

 

 

SOURCE:  Russo. N. M., E. Skoe, E., Trommer, B., Nicol, T., Zecker, S., Bradlow, N., Kraus, N. (2008). Deficient brainstem encoding of pitch in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Clinical Neurophysiology, 119, 1730-1731.

 

REVIEWER(S): pmh

 

DATE: June 21, 2015

ASSIGNED GRADE FOR OVERALL QUALITY: B+ (The highest grade for this investigation, based on its design, is B+.)

 

POPULATION: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

 

PURPOSE: To investigate the subcortical responsiveness to prosody in children with ASD.

 

INSIGHTS ABOUT PROSODY:

  • The ability of children with ASD to encode pitch less was accurate/preserved and less robust than typically developing (TD) peers.
  • However, subgroup analysis of the ASD group revealed that a small group of children with ASD (i.e., ASD OUT) accounted for the poor pitch encoding scores.
  • The ASD OUT group included 5 Ps (about 20% of the overall ASD group) and they exhibited more Frequency and Slope errors as well as reduced pitch locking.

 

 

  1. What type of evidence was identified? Prospective, Nonrandomized Group Comparison Design
  1. Group membership determination:

 

  • If there were groups of participants were members of groups matched? Yes

                                                                    

  • The participants (Ps) were matched by age.
  1. Was participants’ communication status concealed?

                                                                                                           

  • from participants? No
  • from assessment administrators? No
  • from data analyzers? Unclear

                                                                    

 

  1. Were the groups adequately described? Yes

– How many participants were involved in the study?

  • total # of participants: originally there were 48 Ps but 6 Ps with ASD were eliminated due to abnormal brainstem responses (click evoked brainstem responses –atypical Wave V latency), noncompliance, parental choice, and/or relocation; the working total of Ps was 42
  • was group membership maintained throughout the experiment? 6 Ps withdrew/were eliminated from the investigation, as noted above
  • # of groups: 2
  • List names of groups: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), typically developing (TD)
  • # of participants in each group: ASD = 21; TD = 21

                                                                                

– Characteristics of Ps:

CONTROLLED                                                                                           

  • age: 7 to 13 years
  • cognitive skills: Full scale IQ In which with the confidence intervals, the value is >80
  • hearing: within normal limits (WNL)
  • diagnosis: for the Ps with ASD, diagnosis by neurologist/psychologist and actively followed
  • neurological problems: lack of confounding neurological problems

 

DESCRIBED

  • age: mean age ASD = 9.9; mean age TD = 9.95 (no significant difference)
  • gender: ASD = 19m, 2f; TD = 13m, 8f
  • cognitive skills: for both groups the mean was WNL, although TD Ps scored significantly higher
  • expressive language: mean scores on the core portion of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals were WNL, although TD Ps scored significantly higher
  • receptive language: mean scores on the receptive portion of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals were WNL, although TD Ps scored significantly higher
  • overall language skills: mean scores of the core Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals were WNL, although TD Ps scored significantly higher
  • diagnoses of Ps with ASD: parent reported the following specific diagnoses– autism, Asperger Disorder, PDD-NOS, combined diagnoses
  • supplemental observations by investigators of Ps with ASD: Ps displayed some or all of the following

   – limited eye contact

   – limited reciprocity

   – restricting range of topics in conversation

   – use of restricted or idiosyncratic language

   – abnormal prosody

   – echolalia or scripted speech

   – stereotyped movements

 

Were the communication problems adequately described? Yes, but I would have liked to see a description of the communication scores of ASD OUT versus ASD IN Ps.

  • disorder type: ASD
  • functional level: observations by investigators of Ps with ASD revealed that Ps displayed some or all of the following:

– limited eye contact

– limited reciprocity

– restricting range of topics in conversation

– use of restricted or idiosyncratic language

– abnormal prosody

– echolalia or scripted speech

 

  1. What were the different conditions for this research?
  • Subject (Classification) Groups? Yes: ASD, TD
  • Experimental Conditions? No
  • Criterion/Descriptive Conditions? Yes: passively evoked brainstem responses to

     – click evoked brainstem responses

     – speech evoked brainstem responses– speech syllables with descending and ascending pitch contours

  1. Were the groups controlled acceptably? Yes

 

 

  1. Were dependent measures appropriate and meaningful? Yes

– The dependent measures were

  • Dependent Measure #1: Wave V latency within the normal range (this was actually an exclusionary criterion; 2 Ps with ASD were excluded from the original 48 Ps)
  • Dependent Measure #2: Rate of frequency errors (an accuracy measure of encoding) for fo (fundamental frequency) and H2 (second harmonic)
  • Dependent Measure #3: Rate of slope error (a measure of preservation of the pitch contour) for fo (fundamental frequency) and H2 (second harmonic)
  • Dependent Measure #4: Rate of pitch strength (a measure of periodicity) for fo (fundamental frequency)
  • Dependent Measure #5: Composite score of overall pitch tracking (frequency errors of fo plus frequency errors and pitch strength of H2)
  • Dependent Measure #6: Relationship of age, sex, and intelligence on brainstem responses

None of the dependent measures that were subjective.

 

– All of the dependent/ outcome measures were objective.

                                         

 

  1. Were reliability measures provided?

                                                                                                            

  • Interobserver for analyzers? No
  • Intraobserver for analyzers? No
  • Treatment/Procedural fidelity for investigators? No
  • Test/Retest Reliability? Yes. Six Ps with ASD were retested. There were no significant differences in the first and second administrations of the protocol using nonparametric statistical analysis. Accordingly, the Ps responses were judged to be stable and reliable.

 

 

  1. Brief description of design:
  • The investigators compared Ps with ASD and TD peers on series of measures representing the subcortical processing of prosody using passively evoked brainstem responses.
  • Ps watched a video of their choice as the experimental stimuli were delivered to the right ear. The investigators instructed the Ps to ignore the sounds in their right ear.
  • Two sets of stimuli were presented:

– clicks (these were part of the exclusion criteria. Ps with abnormal Wave V latency were excluded from the investigation)

– speech (a single syllable [ya] with ascending and descending pitch contours)

  • The investigators compared the TD and ASD groups on the dependent measures using parametric statistics.
  • They then performed follow up with an statistical analysis of the ASD group (using nonparametrics) in which they identified two subgroups: ASD OUT and ASD IN.

 

 

  1. What were the results of the inferential statistical testing

 

– The comparisons that are significant are p ≤ 0.05.

NOTE: For several of the dependent measure, there were 2 sets of comparisons:

  • ASD vs TD and
  • a subgroup analysis for the ASD Ps — ASD OUT (n = 5) vs ASD IN (n = 16.)

The subgroups of ASD were classified on the basis of performance on the composite score (Dependent measure #5.) The ASD OUT group (i.e., deficient pitch trackers) had composite scores that were <1.65 standard deviations from the overall ASD mean composite score. The ASD OUT group comprised

– 3 Ps with Asperger Disorder

– 1 P with PDD-NOS

– 1 P with ASD with Sensory Integration Disorder

  • Dependent Measure #1: Wave V latency within the normal range (this was actually an exclusionary criterion)— no significant differences between ASD and TD groups, although 2 Ps with were eliminated from the investigation;

 

  • Dependent Measure #2: Rate of frequency errors (an accuracy measure of encoding) for fo (fundamental frequency) and H2 (second harmonic)

For fo, the overall ASD group was significantly less accurate than the TD group.

     — For H2, the overall ASD group was significantly less accurate than the TD group.

   — Reanalysis of the data with the ASD subgroups revealed that for fo and for H2, the ASD IN performed similarly to the TD group but that the ASD OUT group differed significantly more poorly than the TD group and the ASD IN subgroup.

 

  • Dependent Measure #3: Rate of slope error (a measure of preservation of the pitch contour) for fo (fundamental frequency) and H2 (second harmonic)

— For fo, no significant differences between ASD and TD groups.

   — For H2, no significant differences between ASD and TD groups.

  • Dependent Measure #4: Rate of pitch strength (a measure of periodicity) for fo (fundamental frequency)

For fo, the ASD group yielded significantly higher scores than the TD group.

   — Reanalysis of the data with the ASD subgroups revealed that for fo, the ASD IN performed similarly to the TD group but that the ASD OUT group differed significantly from TD and the ASD IN subgroup.

  • Dependent Measure #5: Composite score of overall pitch tracking (frequency errors of fo plus frequency errors and pitch strength of H2)

— Overall, the TD group was significantly better than the ASD group.

 

  • Dependent Measure #6: Relationship of age, sex, and intelligence on brainstem responses

— Overall, Ps in the ASD group had significantly poorer scores than the TD group on measures of language skills (CELF) and most measures of intelligence with the exception of performance mental skills.

     — For the ASD subgroups, there were no significant differences on the measures of language and intelligence.

– What were the statistical tests used to determine significance? MANOVA, Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal-Wallis, and Chi square.

– Were effect sizes provided? Yes, but only for some of the measures. If an effect size is not listed for a dependent measure, it was not provided in the paper.

  • Dependent Measure #2: Rate of frequency errors (an accuracy measure of encoding) for fo (fundamental frequency) and H2 (second harmonic)

— For fo, the effect size for ASD vs TD scores was d = 0.61 (moderate)

     — For H2, the effect size for ASD vs TD scores was d = 0.73 (moderate)

  • Dependent Measure #4: Rate of pitch strength (a measure of periodicity) for fo (fundamental frequency)

— For fo, the effect size for ASD vs TD scores was d = 0.56 (moderate)

  • Dependent Measure #5: Composite score of overall pitch tracking (frequency errors of fo plus frequency errors and pitch strength of H2)

– Were confidence interval (CI) provided? No

 

 

  1. What were the results of the correlational statistical testing?
  • Dependent Measure #6: Relationship of age, sex, and intelligence on brainstem responses

– For the overall ASD group and the ASD IN subgroup, significant differences were not noted for the following

  • pitch tracking and measures of intelligence
  • pitch tracking and language measures (CELF)

     – Correlational analysis could not be performed with the data for the ASD OUT subgroup due to the small n.

  • What was the statistical test used to determine correlation? Pearson Product

Nadig & Shaw (2011)

April 10, 2015

ANALYSIS

Comparison Research

 

 

KEY:   

 

ADOS = Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule

ASD = autism spectrum disorder

CELF-4 = Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamental, 4th edition

HFA = High Functioning Autism

P = participant

pmh = Patricia Hargrove, blog developer

SCQ = Social Communication Questionnaire

TYP = typical peer

 

 

SOURCE: Nadig, A., & Shaw, H. (2011). Acoustic and perceptual measurement of expressive prosody in High-Functioning Autism: Increased pitch range and what it means to listeners. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 499-511.

REVIEWER(S): pmh

DATE: March 31, 2015

ASSIGNED GRADE FOR OVERALL QUALITY: B (The highest possible grade, based on the design of the investigation was B+.)

TAKE AWAY: Findings support the contention that Ps with High Functioning Autism (HFA) produced larger than typical pitch ranges in speech of Ps with although group data revealed that listeners did not perceive the pitch variability of speakers with HFA and their typically developing peers to be significantly different. Other measures (mean pitch and rate) were not significantly different in HFA children/adolescents and their typically developing peers (TYP.) Although there were moderate correlations between perceptual and acoustic measures of mean pitch and speaking rate, the correlation between the acoustic and perceptual measure of pitch change/variability was not significant.

 

  1. What type of evidence was identified?
  • What was the type of evidence? Prospective, Nonrandomized Group Design with Controls
  • What was the focus of the research? Clinically Related
  • What was the level of support associated with the type of evidence? Level = B+

                                                                                                           

 

  1. Group membership determination:
  • If there were groups, were participants randomly assigned to groups? No
  • If there were groups and participants were not randomly assigned to groups, were members of groups carefully matched? Yes

                                                                    

  1. Were experimental conditions concealed?
  • from participants? No
  • from administrators of experimental conditions? No
  • from analyzers/judges? Yes

                                                                    

 

  1. Were the groups adequately described? Yes
  • How many participants were involved in the study? There were 3 experiments. The numbers for each experiment are listed. In addition, judges were used to rate the speech samples from Experiment 2. These judges will be described below as “raters.”

 

EXPERIMENT 1 AND 2 (the data from the same participants, Ps, were analyzed in Experiments 1 and 2)

  • total # of participant: 28
  • # of groups: 2
  • # of participants in each group: 15, 13
  • List names of groups: High Functioning Autism (HFA) = 15; Typically Developing (TYP) = 13
  • Did all groups maintain membership? Yes

 

EXPERIMENT 3 (Five of the participants, from the High-Functioning Autism group and 10 of the typically developing, TYP, group also participated in Experiments 1 and 2.)

  • total # of participant: 26
  • # of groups:  2
  • # of participants in each group: 15, 11
  • List names of groups: HFA = 15; TYP = 11
  • Did all groups maintain membership? Yes

 

RATERS

  • total # of participant: 32
  • # of groups: 1
  • # of participants in the group: 32
  • List names of group: raters
  • Did all groups maintain membership? Yes
  • The following variables were described:

EXPERIMENT 1 AND 2

  • age: mean age HFA = 11-0 years; TYP = 11-0 years
  • gender: HFA 13m, 2f; TYP 11m, 2f
  • cognitive skills: mean IQ HFA = 105; TYP = 111
  • language: Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamental, 4th edition (CELF-4) mean HFA = 109; TYP = 115
  • Measures of Autistic Symptoms

– HFA

  • Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ, parental report) — mean = 26
  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) algorithm score–13
  • ADOS total score (sum of all items) –26

– TYP

  • SCQ (parental report)—2
  • ADOS algorithm score—not applicable (NA)
  • ADOS total score (sum of all items)–NA

EXPERIMENT 3

  • age: mean age HFA = 10-6 years; TYP = 10-08 years
  • gender: HFA 12m, 3f; TYP 9m, 2f
  • cognitive skills: mean IQ HFA = 111; TYP = 116
  • language: CELF-4 mean HFA = 108; TYP = 117

– HFA

  • Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ, parental report) — mean = 26
  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Score (ADOS) algorithm score–15
  • ADOS total score (sum of all items) –25

– TYP

  • SCQ (parental report)—2
  • ADOS algorithm score—not applicable (NA)
  • ADOS total score (sum of all items)–NA

 

RATERS (from Experiment 2)

  • educational level of rater: Applied Masters students in Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Were the groups similar before intervention began? Yes. With the exception of the SCQ, the TYP and HFA groups were similar                                                      
  • Were the communication problems adequately described? No
  • disorder type: HFA
  • functional level: performance of HFA group was within normal limits (WNL) on the CELF-4 but the Ps with HFA evidenced social communication problems as noted by their score on the SCQ. All Ps in the HFA group preformed above the 15 on the SCQ which is consistent with the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD.) None of the TYP group scored 15 or higher on the SCQ.

 

 

  1. What were the different conditions for this research?
  • Subject (Classification) Groups? Yes–diagnostic classification (HFA; TYP)
  • Experimental Conditions? No
  • Criterion/Descriptive Conditions? Yes

– Experiments 1 and 2: face-to-face conversational speech

– Experiment 3: referential communication task

 

  1. Were the groups controlled acceptably? Yes

 

 

  1. Were dependent measures appropriate and meaningful? Yes

The dependent measures were

EXPERIMENT #1: conversational speech

  • Measure 1: Pitch range
  • Measure 2: Mean Pitch
  • Measure 3: Speech Rate
  • Measure 4: Relationship between acoustic measures and P characteristics such as IQ, language level, severity of autism, etc.

EXPERIENT #2: conversational speech

  • Measure 5: Pitch range—used the same data as Experiment 1
  • Measure 6: Mean pitch– used the same data as Experiment 1
  • Measure 7: Speech rate– used the same data as Experiment 1
  • Measure 8: Overall perceptual impression of normalcy
  • Measure 9: Perceptual rating of pitch change
  • Measure 10: Perceptual rating of mean pitch
  • Measure 11: Perceptual rating of speaking rate
  • Measure 12: Relationship between acoustic and perfection of measures
  • Measure 13: Relationship between acoustic measures and P characteristics such as IQ, language level, severity of autism, etc.

EXPERIMENT #3: referential communication task

  • Measure 14: Pitch range
  • Measure 15: Mean pitch
  • Measure 16: Speech rate
  • Measure 17: Relationship between acoustic measures and P characteristics such as IQ, language level, severity of autism, etc.

The dependent measures that are subjective are

EXPERIMENT #1: conversational speech

  • Measure 4: Relationship between acoustic measures and P characteristics such as IQ, language level, severity of autism, etc.

EXPERIENT #2: conversational speech

  • Measure 9: Perceptual rating of pitch change—same data as Experiment #1
  • Measure 10: Perceptual rating of mean pitch—same data as Experiment #1
  • Measure 11: Perceptual rating of speaking rate—same data as Experiment #1
  • Measure 12: Relationship between acoustic and perfection of measures
  • Measure 13: Relationship between acoustic measures and P characteristics such as IQ, language level, severity of autism, etc.

EXPERIMENT #3: referential communication task

  • Measure 17: Relationship between acoustic measures and P characteristics such as IQ, language level, severity of autism, etc.

 

– The dependent measures that are objective are

EXPERIMENT #1: conversational speech

  • Measure 1: Pitch range
  • Measure 2: Mean Pitch
  • Measure 3: Speech Rate

EXPERIENT #2: conversational speech

  • Measure 5: Pitch range—same data as Experiment #1
  • Measure 6: Mean pitch—same data as Experiment #1
  • Measure 7: Speech rate—same data as Experiment #1

EXPERIMENT #3: referential communication task

  • Measure 14: Pitch range
  • Measure 15: Mean pitch
  • Measure 16: Speech rate

                                         

 

  1. Were reliability measures provided?

– Interobserver for analyzers? No

Intraobserver for analyzers? No

Treatment fidelity for investigators? No

 

 

  1. Description of design:
  • This investigation involved 3 experiments:

— Experiment 1: The acoustical analysis of selected aspects of prosody from brief samples of conversation

— Experiment 2: The perceptual rating of selected aspects of prosody from brief samples of conversation

— Experiment 3: The acoustical analysis of selected aspects of prosody from a referential communication task

  • Participants for each of the investigations were school-age children (8 to 14 years old) who had been diagnosed as HFA and their typically developing peers.
  • The investigators elicited the samples from the Ps and then analyzed them acoustically or perceptually to extract the measures under consideration.

 

 

  1. What were the results of the statistical (inferential) testing?

 

– The comparisons that are significant (p ≤ 0.05) are

EXPERIMENT #1: conversational speech

  • Measure 1: Pitch range—HFA significantly wider than TYP

EXPERIENT #2: conversational speech

  • Measure 5: Pitch range — HFA significantly wider than TYP (used same data as Experiment 1)
  • Measure 8: Overall perceptual impression of normalcy—TYP was significantly higher than HFA

EXPERIMENT #3: referential communication task

  • Measure 14: Pitch range— HFA significantly wider than TYP

– The statistical tests that were used to determine significance were

  • t-test:
  • Mann-Whitney U

– Were effect sizes provided? Yes

EXPERIMENT #1: conversational speech

  • Measure 1: Pitch range – r = 0.67 (moderate effect)
  • Measure 2: Mean Pitch – r = 0.30 (small effect)
  • Measure 3: Speech Rate – r = 0.25 (small effect)

EXPERIENT #2: conversational speech

  • Measure 5: Pitch range – r = 0.67 (moderate effect) same data as Experiment 1
  • Measure 6: Mean pitch – r = 0.30 (small effect) same data as Experiment 1
  • Measure 7: Speech rate – r = 0.25 (small effect) same data as Experiment 1
  • Measure 8: Overall perceptual impression of normalcy – r = 0.48 (small effect)
  • Measure 9: Perceptual rating of pitch change – r = 0.17 (no effect)
  • Measure 10: Perceptual rating of mean pitch – r 0.09 (no effect)
  • Measure 11: Perceptual rating of speaking rate — r 0.22 (small effect)

EXPERIMENT #3: referential communication task

  • Measure 14: Pitch range –r = 0.40 (small effect)
  • Measure 15: Mean pitch –r = 0.22 (small effect)
  • Measure 16: Speech rate — r = 0.03 (no effect)

Were confidence interval (CI) provided? No

Were correlational statistics provided: Yes

– The results of correlational analyses are

EXPERIMENT #1: conversational speech

  • Measure 4: Relationship between acoustic measures and P characteristics such as IQ, language level, severity of autism, etc.

— pitch range: none of the correlations were significant for either group (HFA, TYP)

— mean pitch and rate: not reported

EXPERIENT #2: conversational speech

  • Measure 12: Relationship between acoustic and perfection of measures

HFA:

  • pitch change—acoustic and perceptual measures –not significantly correlated (NOTE: both HFA and TYP were not significantly correlated despite the finding that acoustic measures of pitch change were significantly higher for HFA. Visual inspection of the scatterplots suggested that the relationship between acoustic and perceptual measures was more linear in TYP and HFA was flat suggesting different patterns.)
  • mean pitch– acoustic and perceptual measures: significant correlation (r = 0.53, moderate correlation)
  • mean rate — acoustic and perceptual measures: significant correlation (r = 0.65, strong correlation)

 

     – TYP:

  • pitch change—acoustic and perceptual measures –not significantly correlated (NOTE: both HFA and TYP were not significantly correlated despite the finding that acoustic measures of pitch change were significantly higher for HFA. Visual inspection of the scatterplots suggested that the relationship between acoustic and perceptual measures was more linear in TYP and HFA was flat suggesting different patterns.)
  • mean pitch– acoustic and perceptual measures—correlation not significant
  • mean rate — acoustic and perceptual measures: significant correlation (r = 0.87, strong correlation
  • Measure 13: Relationship between acoustic measures and P characteristics such as IQ, language level, severity of autism, etc.

no significant correlations for either group

EXPERIMENT #3: referential communication task

  • Measure 17: Relationship between acoustic measures and P characteristics such as IQ, language level, severity of autism, etc.

     – HFA

  • pitch range not significantly correlated with any of the P characteristics
  • correlations with the other acoustic measures were not reported

     – TYP

  • pitch range not significantly correlated with any of the P characteristics

 

  1. Brief summary of clinically relevant results:
  • Using conversational speech and speech during a referential communication task, the investigators determined that Ps with HFA produced speech with larger pitch ranges than typically developing peers. Thus, clinicians (Cs) = should expect a broader pitch range in speech of Ps with HFA rather than a smaller one (which one might expect from the extant clinical literature) using acoustic measures.
  • Using conversational, the investigators determined that raters did not perceive differences between in pitch variability of Ps with HFA and their typically developing peers to be significantly different. Therefore, Cs should not expect that they will perceive the pitch variability to be larger than typically developing peers. If Cs do perceive the P to be monotonal, acoustic measurements may be in order to clarify pitch variability. Despite the fact that there were no significant differences in overall performance, analysis of individual performances suggested that raters judged Ps with HFA to have more extreme (broad and narrow) pitch ranges.
  • The raters judged the speech of Ps with HFA to be significantly more atypical than the TYP group. There is, therefore, evidence for perceived differences between Ps with HFA and their typically developing peers. The cause of this difference is beyond the scope of this paper.

 

ASSIGNED GRADE FOR QUALITY OF EXTERNAL EVIDENCE: B