Our Research

Despite the fact that up to 75% of children with cerebral palsy and 60% of children with Down syndrome may have speech impairment, the evidence base guiding intervention decision is extremely limited. The long-term goal of Dr. Darling-White's research program is to develop and validate theoretically driven, data-based interventions that impact speech production skills in children with motor speech disorders, such as cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. One of the ways that our lab is working toward this goal is to assess the impact of commonly used intervention techniques, such as increasing loudness, on respiratory function during speech production and speech production outcome measures like speech naturalness and intelligibility. To do this we collect information about how the body moves during speech as well as audio-recordings from typically developing children, children with cerebral palsy, and children with Down syndrome. It is our hope that the results from this project will help guide speech-language pathologists make evidenced-based intervention decisions when working with these types of children.