Purpose. A speech sound disorder (SSD), as an atypical production of a speech sound or pattern of speech sounds characterized by distortion, substitution, omission, or addition that may interfere with intelligibility that persists beyond a particular age. Children who do not meet developmental milestones for speech sound production may be diagnosed with a SSD by a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). Accurate assessment and effective treatment for a child with a SSD relies heavily on the SLP’s detailed perception of his or her speech sound productions. This thesis reviews the literature about adults’ perception of children’s speech, and the effect of clinical experience as an SLP on perceptive skills. Method. The experiment is an online survey measuring 86 Speech-Language Pathologists from across the country. It measures their professional experience, as well as their attitudes and beliefs about the nature of SSDs, client characteristics, and clinical decisions. The survey compared clinicians’ performance on a speech-sound rating task, across four consonant contrasts: stops /s/-/θ/ and /s/-/∫/, and fricatives /d/-/g/ and /t/-/k/.
Results. Clinicians with the most professional experience were less categorical in their ratings of stops than the least experienced clinician group. For fricatives, as professional experienced increased, clinicians were more attentive to the primary cues and less attentive to the secondary cues for speech production.
Conclusions. Professional experience leads to more reliable speech perception across speech sound categories; those with more experience have better perception of fine phonetic detail and rely more on the important information in the speech signal when perceiving speech sounds. Limitations and future research are discussed.
University of Minnesota M.S, thesis. June 2012. Major: Speech-Language-Hearing sciences. Advisor: Dr. Benjamin Munson. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 36 pages, appendices A-D.
Meyer, Marie Kahler.
Do attitudes and practice patterns predict the perception of children's speech? evidence from a web-based audio survey of speech-language pathologists..
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