Diagnostic Markers for Childhood Apraxia Speech (Apraxia Markers)
This project focuses on automated methods for assessment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech. This disorder is a highly controversial disorder due to a lack of consensus on the features that define it and the etiologic conditions that explain its origin. The term Suspected Apraxia of Speech (sAOS) has been proposed as an interim term for this putative clinical entity. The long-term objective of this proposal is to develop a valid, reliable, and efficient means to classify children as positive for sAOS. The aim for this first period of planned programmatic research is to develop automated diagnostic markers for sAOS with clinically adequate sensitivity and specificity (> 90% positive and negative likelihood ratios). The four specific aims are: (a) to automate and improve the sensitivity and specificity of two existing (manually derived) prosodic markers, (b) to develop four additional automatic, prosody-based diagnostic markers, (c) to derive a single diagnostic index based on a statistical derivative from the six individual markers, and (d) to validate the composite diagnostic marker using classification data obtained from expert clinical researchers.