Jenny Philp and Ariel Vovakes recently completed the Advanced Research Experience Seminar (ARES) program under the mentorship of Dr. Nancy Scherer and Dr. Hope Lancaster. Both Ariel and Jenny utilized the PHON software program to analyze the speech development of children with cleft palate.

Jenny examined the use of speech errors (i.e., deletions and substitutions) in children with cleft palate over the course of early intervention. She studied how speech articulatory errors changed between pre-intervention and a follow-up assessment conducted three months after the conclusion of early intervention. Jenny also evaluated the proportions of cleft-related and developmental substitutions over time. One of Jenny’s research findings was that as cleft-related substitutions decreased during early intervention, developmental substitutions increased. This meant that children with cleft palate were producing speech more similar to their typically-developing peers.

Ariel was interested in studying how vocabulary measures gathered at pre-intervention predicted speech skills of children with cleft palate following early intervention. Her project examined percentage of consonants correct at post-intervention and change in substitutions and deletions between pre-intervention and post-intervention. Vocabulary skills at pre-intervention predicted global speech accuracy and change in speech errors after early intervention.

Jenny and Ariel  presented the results of their ARES projects at the 2017 Department of Speech and Hearing Science Research Day. Congratulations to Ariel & Jenny on successful ARES projects and presentations!

Leave a Reply