Dr. Anja Kuschmann, a researcher at the University of Strathclyde, UK, is studying the speech patterns of children with cerebral palsy and how it is impacted by muscular problems and brain damage. She believes that researching this area could result in enhanced diagnosis and therapy. Many children who have cerebral palsy face problems with speech melody, rhythm and stress, known as prosodic difficulties. Since currently there is a lack of information on the development of prosody in these cases, it is hard to tell whether these difficulties are the result of muscular issues when speaking or not being able to build and store the information in the brain.
Kuschmann explains, “this research will investigate the prosodic abilities in children with CP to determine the underlying nature of their difficulties. It will contribute to the theoretical understanding of the causes of prosodic impairment in CP, and may help to improve diagnosis and therapy of prosodic difficulties in CP.”
The project was awarded a £219,000 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship and will take three years to complete.