Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Communication characteristics of children with developmental apraxia of speech

Laura Jean Ball, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Speech-language pathology researchers have pursued a strategy to identify children with distinct DAS characteristics in an effort to study the characteristics, possible cause(s), and interventions for this disorder. Increasingly, reports indicate that children with suspected DAS experience a range of speech, language, social interaction, behavioral, and academic disabilities. Investigators in DAS continue to recommend intervention strategies that focus primarily on motor speech impairments, although it is clear that few children with a distinct version of DAS exist. ^ Evaluations of communication skills were obtained from 36 children identified with suspected DAS for this research project. Hierarchical cluster analysis was completed on the resulting test scores, and profiles based upon unique communication characteristics of these children were described upon completion of the statistical analysis. ^ Results of the cluster analysis statistical procedure indicated that children with DAS evaluated for this study were best described by four-clusters of communication characteristics. Linear discriminant function statistical analysis identified two significant discriminant functions, which were instrumental in assigning children to the four clusters. ^ One group of discriminating variables contained communication aspects primarily associated with language, vocabulary, and behavioral issues. The other group of discriminating variables contained communication aspects associated with articulation, percent of consonants correct, and intelligibility. ^ When compared with the children in other clusters, members of Cluster I exhibited generally lower accuracy with articulation, percent of consonants correct, and overall language skills. These children exhibited fewer behavioral concerns. Children in Cluster II exhibited generally lower accuracy of articulation skills, and higher language and phonological skills, with fewer behavioral concerns when compared across clusters. One child, who exhibited a unique profile of communication aspects, was found to fall within Cluster III. Children in Cluster IV exhibited generally greater accuracy of articulation and lower language skills, accompanied by higher behavioral concerns from the parents when compared to other children participating in the study. Implications of identified clusters for future research, assessment, and interventions are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Education, Tests and Measurements|Health Sciences, Speech Pathology|Education, Special

Recommended Citation

Ball, Laura Jean, "Communication characteristics of children with developmental apraxia of speech" (1999). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9942112.