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The perception of disordered /[inverted r]/ of children in speech therapy by peers and speech-language pathologists Perry, Benjamin

Abstract

Subjective rating is the main method for measuring treatment effect for speech disorders in therapy and research. For complicated speech sounds such as /ɹ/, perceptual judgments by ear are subject to variability. The main goals of the current study were twofold: (1) to compare age peer and speech-language pathologist judgments of /ɹ/ as spoken by children receiving speech therapy for /ɹ/, and (2) to compare those listener judgments in both a single stimulus identification task and a two-stimulus paired comparison task. Sixteen syllables with /r/ were presented by computer over headphones in the two tasks to 24 children (mean age 9 years) and 24 speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Variability, group and task differences were examined. Mean judgments of the tokens by SLPs and children were similar. Intra-rater reliability was better for SLPs than children. In the single stimulus identification task, SLPs also showed better inter-rater reliability than children. In the two-stimulus paired comparison task, SLPs and children had similar inter-rater reliability. Overall, the comparison task resulted in better inter-rater and intra-rater reliability for both groups. Implications for research and clinical evaluation of attempted /ɹ/ are discussed.

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