Improving Communication in Children with Cerebral Palsy


Intensive Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD) for Children With Spastic
Cerebral Palsy and Dysarthria

Cynthia Marie Fox, Carol Ann Boliek

Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, June 2012, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), DOI: 10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0235)

What is it about?

Children with cerebral palsy can have difficulties talking with their family and friends. We studied the effects of a novel intensive speech treatment in five children with cerebral palsy. Our results demonstrated a number of findings post-treatment. First, it showed that the children could tolerate the intensive treatment. Second, listeners rated speech samples of the children as louder, clearer and easier to understand. For most kids, these improvements were maintained six weeks after treatment. Parents also reported some improvements in speech outside of the treatment room.

Why is it important?

Improving communication in children with speech disorders can have a positive impact on their self-esteem and quality of life. Examining novel speech therapy approaches can help us better understand what works and what does not. This was a small study, but it offers some initial insights into how intensive voice treatment may be helpful for some children with cerebral palsy.


Conducting this study revealed to me the frustrations children with cerebral palsy experience when they are not understood. Talking with ease is a task that is often taken for granted when it occurs so naturally in typically developing children. Observing first-hand how hard children were willing to work in therapy to improve speech was impressive. The joy they experienced with communication success was humbling. There is much more work to be done in this area of research. This study hopefully provides some foundation and insights for future research.

View a short video with audio clips of children with cerebral palsy and Down syndrome post LSVT LOUD.

Pre and Post Speech Therapy Video

Application of LSVT LOUD® to Pediatric Motor Speech Disorders

LSVT LOUD® is speech treatment developed for improving communication disorders in people with Parkinson’s, now with application to children with motor speech disorders associated with cerebral palsy (CP) and Down syndrome (DS). The webinar will include a discussion on the research supporting the application of LSVT LOUD to pediatric clients as well as information on the process for determining if a pediatric client may be a good candidate for LSVT LOUD and special considerations for pediatric populations. 

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