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Viking speech scale

Murray, J and Pennington, Lindsay and Mjøen, T and Andrada, M. d. G (2011) Viking speech scale. Surveillance of Cerebral Palsy in Europe (SCPE).

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Abstract

This scale has been developed to classify children’s speech production. The ease with which children can make themselves understood using other methods of communication is scored using different scales. Speech production relies on the control and coordination of several body functions, including breathing and breath control, phonation (vibration of the vocal cords when speaking which creates the voice) and movement of the lips and tongue for articulation. Motor disorders in cerebral palsy can affect individual functions, giving rise to different speech patterns (e.g. reduction in breath control can lead to difficulties controlling the loudness of speech; impaired movements of the vocal cords is associated with breathy or harsh voice; impaired articulation is evident inability to produce some consonants etc). The extent to which each of the individual functions is affected will vary greatly from child to child. We know that the speech functions are adequate if words are perceived correctly by listeners. Although intelligibility is strictly a measure of activity (communicating a message) it relates directly to speech function and can help differentiate levels of impairment.

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