NOTE: This research focuses on a clinical disorder, not on an intervention. Accordingly, no summary of intervention is included in the review.
ADD = attention deficit disorder
ADHD = attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
ASD = autism spectrum disorder(s)
c2v/second = consonant-to-vowel transitions per second
eta = partial eta squared
fo = fundamental frequency
Hz = Hertz
MLU = mean length of utterance
NA = Not Applicable
NAP = Narrative Assessment Profile
P = participant or patient
pmh = Patricia Hargrove, blog developer
SLP = speech-language pathologist
WLN = within normal limits
SOURCE: Dahlberg, S., Sandberg, A. D., Strömbergsson, S., Wenhov, L., Råstam, M, & Nettelbladt, U. (2018). Prosodic traits in speech produced by children with autism spectrum disorders—Perceptual and acoustic measurements. Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, 3, 1- 10.
DATE: August 12, 2019
ASSIGNED GRADE FOR OVERALL QUALITY: B- (Based on the design of the investigation, the highest possible grade is B+.)
TAKE AWAY: This investigation explored the productive prosody of 11 Swedish children diagnosed with high functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD group) and 11 Swedish children judged to the typically developing (TDC group). Perceptual and acoustic analyses of one-minute speech samples extracted from each child’s narratives revealed only one significantly different measure: the ASD group produced significantly longer utterances than their TDC peers despite the fact that the TDC group had significantly more advanced receptive language scores.
- What type of evidence was identified?
– What was the type of design? Comparison Research; Prospective Nonrandomized Group Design with Controls
– What was the focus of the research? Clinically Related xxx
– What was the level of support associated with the type of evidence? Level = B+
- Group membership determination:
- If there were groups, were participants randomly assigned to groups? No
- If there were groups and Ps were not randomly assigned to groups, were members of groups carefully matched? Yes
- Were conditions concealed?
- from participants? No
- from administrators of procedures? No
- from analyzers/judges?Yes
- Were the groups adequately described? Yes
– How many participants were involved in the study?
- total # of Ps:22
- # of groups:2
- List names of groups and the number of Ps in each group:
– Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) = 11
– Typically Developing Children (TDC) = 11
- Did all groups maintain membership throughout the investigation? Yes
– CONTROLLED CHARACTERISTICS
- cognitive skills:all participants were within normal limits (WLN)
– ASD group = diagnosis of ASD
– TDC group = no diagnosis of ASD; no history of assessment or treatment with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or a psychologist
DESCRIBED CHARACTERISTICS (* = a significant difference between groups)
– ASD group = 11.1. years (9.2 to 12.9)
– TDC group = 11.1 years (10.5. to 12.1)
– ASD group = 10 males; 1 female
– TDC group = 6 males; 1 female
- receptive vocabulary*:
– ASD group = 4.8 scaled score
– TDC group = 9.6 scaled score
- receptive linguistic age*:
– ASD group = 10.4 years
– TDC group = 14.7 years
- Narrative Assessment Profile (NAP; maximum score 18; production):
– ASD group = 14.9
– TDC group = 16.1
- additional diagnoses:
– ASD group = in addition to ASD, there were the following diagnoses
– 4 Ps = attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
– 1 P = attention deficit disorder (ADD)
– TDC group = no diagnoses
– Were the groups similar? Yes on most variables, but there were significant differences in receptive language age and receptive vocabulary.
– Were the communication problems adequately described? Unclear
- disorder type: High Functioning ASD
- What were the different conditions for this research?
- Subject (Classification) Groups? Yes
- Experimental Conditions? No
- Criterion/Descriptive Conditions?No
- Were the groups controlled acceptably? Yes
- Were dependent measures appropriate and meaningful? Yes
- OUTCOME #1:fundamental frequency (f0) average in Hertz (Hz)
- OUTCOME #2:f0range in semitones
- OUTCOME #3:f0 variation in semitones
- OUTCOME #4:speech rate as represented by syllables per second which operationally was defined as consonant-to-vowel transitions per second (c2v/second)
- OUTCOME #5:utterance length orwords per utterance
- OUTCOME #6:Rating of Pitch from 1 to 4 with 4 indicating the highest deviancy from typical development.
- OUTCOME #7:Rating of Intonation from 1 to 4 with 4 indicating the highest deviancy from typical development.
- OUTCOME #8:Rating of Speech Rate from 1 to 4 with 4 indicating the highest deviancy from typical development.
- OUTCOME #9:Rating of Length of Utterance from 1 to 4 with 4 indicating the highest deviancy from typical development.
- OUTCOME #10:Rating of Intensity from 1 to 4 with 4 indicating the highest deviancy from typical development.
- OUTCOME #11:Rating of Timbre from 1 to 4 with 4 indicating the highest deviancy from typical development.
- OUTCOME #12:Rating of Fluency from 1 to 4 with 4 indicating the highest deviancy from typical development.
- OUTCOME #13:Rating of Nasality with indications of deviancy or no deviancy
- OUTCOME #14:Rating of overall impression of Prosody as adequate, atypical, or very atypical.
- OUTCOME #15:Categorization of P as having a diagnosis or ASD or not from the speech samples.
POST HOC ANALYSES MEASURES
- OUTCOME #16: Comparison on all measures of the 3 Ps from the ASD group who had been correctly identified by listeners as having ASD versus the remaining 8 Ps in the ASD group
– The perceptual measures were subjective.
– The acoustic measures were objective.
- Were reliability measures provided?
- Interobserver for analyzers? No. However, the raters, 3 SLPs with a specialization in voice, discussed their ratings of each P and came to a consensus.
- Intraobserver for analyzers? No
- Treatment or test administration fidelity for investigators?NA
- Description ofdesign:
- Eleven Swedish children diagnosed with ASD and 11 matched typically developing Swedish peers were recorded telling a narrative about the beach.
- The investigators removed 1 minute samples from each narrative and subjected them to acoustic and perceptual analyses.
- Raters for the perceptual measures listened to the speech samples which were presented in a random order with respect to group and gender.
- Because none of the TDC group and only 3 Ps from the ASD group were judged to be ASD speakers, the investigators sought to identify if the 3 identified Ps were different from their ASD peers. (I have labeled this the Post Hoc Analysis.)
- What were the results of the statistical (inferential) testing?
- There was only significant difference among all the acoustic and perceptual measures:
– OUTCOME #5: utterance length orwords per utterance
- The Post Hoc analysis identified the differences between the 3 Ps from the ASD group who had been judged to be ASD speakers from their 1 minute samples and the rest of the ASD group. The analysis yielded the following significant differences:
– The 3 Ps identified as ASD
∞ performed significantly more poorly on the NAP from the descriptive characteristics.
∞ produced significantly more atypical fluency in the 1- minute samples
∞ produced significantly more atypical speaking rates in the 1- minute samples
- What was the statistical test used to determine significance?ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U
- Were effect sizes provided?Yes, for one Outcome
– OUTCOME #5: Utterance length or words per utterance (Cohen’s d was 0.99 which is considered to be a large effect.
- Were confidence interval (CI) provided?No
- Summary of correlational results: Not Applicable (NA)
- Summary of descriptive results: Qualitative research NA
- Brief summary of clinically relevant results:
- SLP judges were not able to differentiate ASD and TDC speakers listening to 1 minute narrative speech samples.
- Only one measure, words per utterance, differentiated the ASD group from the TDC group. (The ASD group was labeled as high functioning.)
- The Ps who were correctly identified as having ASD had
– significantly poorer narrative skills
– significantly more atypical fluency
– significantly more atypical speaking rate
ASSIGNED GRADE FOR QUALITY OF EXTERNAL EVIDENCE: B-