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1.
Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc ; 2020: 6111-6114, 2020 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33019365

RESUMO

This study describes a fully automated method of expressive language assessment based on vocal responses of children to a sentence repetition task (SRT), a language test that taps into core language skills. Our proposed method automatically transcribes the vocal responses using a test-specific automatic speech recognition system. From the transcriptions, a regression model predicts the gold standard test scores provided by speech-language pathologists. Our preliminary experimental results on audio recordings of 104 children (43 with typical development and 61 with a neurodevelopmental disorder) verifies the feasibility of the proposed automatic method for predicting gold standard scores on this language test, with averaged mean absolute error of 6.52 (on a observed score range from 0 to 90 with a mean value of 49.56) between observed and predicted ratings.Clinical relevance-We describe the use of fully automatic voice-based scoring in language assessment including the clinical impact this development may have on the field of speech-language pathology. The automated test also creates a technological foundation for the computerization of a broad array of tests for voice-based language assessment.


Assuntos
Patologia da Fala e Linguagem , Voz , Criança , Humanos , Idioma , Desenvolvimento da Linguagem , Testes de Linguagem
2.
Interspeech ; 2019: 11-15, 2019 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33088838

RESUMO

This study explores building and improving an automatic speech recognition (ASR) system for children aged 6-9 years and diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), language impairment (LI), or both. Working with only 1.5 hours of target data in which children perform the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Recalling Sentences task, we apply deep neural network (DNN) weight transfer techniques to adapt a large DNN model trained on the LibriSpeech corpus of adult speech. To begin, we aim to find the best proportional training rates of the DNN layers. Our best configuration yields a 29.38% word error rate (WER). Using this configuration, we explore the effects of quantity and similarity of data augmentation in transfer learning. We augment our training with portions of the OGI Kids' Corpus, adding 4.6 hours of typically developing speakers aged kindergarten through 3rd grade. We find that 2nd grade data alone - approximately the mean age of the target data - outperforms other grades and all the sets combined. Doubling the data for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade, we again compare each grade as well as pairs of grades. We find the combination of 1st and 2nd grade performs best at a 26.21% WER.

3.
Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc ; 2017: 730-733, 2017 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29059976

RESUMO

Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive neurological disorder occurring in early childhood affecting body movement and muscle control. Early identification can help improve outcome through therapy-based interventions. Absence of so-called "fidgety movements" is a strong predictor of cerebral palsy. Currently, infant limb movements captured through either video cameras or accelerometers are analyzed to identify fidgety movements. However both modalities have their limitations. Video cameras do not have the high temporal resolution needed to capture subtle movements. Accelerometers have low spatial resolution and capture only relative movement. In order to overcome these limitations, we have developed a system to combine measurements from both camera and sensors to estimate the true underlying motion using extended Kalman filter. The estimated motion achieved 84% classification accuracy in identifying fidgety movements using Support Vector Machine.


Assuntos
Movimento , Paralisia Cerebral , Humanos , Lactente , Gravação de Videoteipe
4.
PLoS One ; 12(3): e0173936, 2017.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28296973

RESUMO

Deficits in social communication, particularly pragmatic language, are characteristic of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Speech disfluencies may serve pragmatic functions such as cueing speaking problems. Previous studies have found that speakers with ASD differ from typically developing (TD) speakers in the types and patterns of disfluencies they produce, but fail to provide sufficiently detailed characterizations of the methods used to categorize and quantify disfluency, making cross-study comparison difficult. In this study we propose a simple schema for classifying major disfluency types, and use this schema in an exploratory analysis of differences in disfluency rates and patterns among children with ASD compared to TD and language impaired (SLI) groups. 115 children ages 4-8 participated in the study (ASD = 51; SLI = 20; TD = 44), completing a battery of experimental tasks and assessments. Measures of morphological and syntactic complexity, as well as word and disfluency counts, were derived from transcripts of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). High inter-annotator agreement was obtained with the use of the proposed schema. Analyses showed ASD children produced a higher ratio of content to filler disfluencies than TD children. Relative frequencies of repetitions, revisions, and false starts did not differ significantly between groups. TD children also produced more cued disfluencies than ASD children.


Assuntos
Transtorno do Espectro Autista/fisiopatologia , Transtornos da Linguagem/fisiopatologia , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino
5.
Proc Int Conf Mach Learn Appl ; 2017: 304-308, 2017 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33215167

RESUMO

In this study, we explore the feasibility of speech-based techniques to automatically evaluate a nonword repetition (NWR) test. NWR tests, a useful marker for detecting language impairment, require repetition of pronounceable nonwords, such as "D OY F", presented aurally by an examiner or via a recording. Our proposed method leverages ASR techniques to first transcribe verbal responses. Second, it applies machine learning techniques to ASR output for predicting gold standard scores provided by speech and language pathologists. Our experimental results for a sample of 101 children (42 with autism spectrum disorders, or ASD; 18 with specific language impairment, or SLI; and 41 typically developed, or TD) show that the proposed approach is successful in predicting scores on this test, with averaged product-moment correlations of 0.74 and mean absolute error of 0.06 (on a observed score range from 0.34 to 0.97) between observed and predicted ratings.

6.
Autism Res ; 9(8): 854-65, 2016 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26800246

RESUMO

Atypical pragmatic language is often present in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), along with delays or deficits in structural language. This study investigated the use of the "fillers" uh and um by children ages 4-8 during the autism diagnostic observation schedule. Fillers reflect speakers' difficulties with planning and delivering speech, but they also serve communicative purposes, such as negotiating control of the floor or conveying uncertainty. We hypothesized that children with ASD would use different patterns of fillers compared to peers with typical development or with specific language impairment (SLI), reflecting differences in social ability and communicative intent. Regression analyses revealed that children in the ASD group were much less likely to use um than children in the other two groups. Filler use is an easy-to-quantify feature of behavior that, in concert with other observations, may help to distinguish ASD from SLI. Autism Res 2016, 9: 854-865. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Assuntos
Transtorno do Espectro Autista/diagnóstico , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/fisiopatologia , Transtornos do Desenvolvimento da Linguagem/diagnóstico , Transtornos do Desenvolvimento da Linguagem/fisiopatologia , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Comunicação , Feminino , Humanos , Idioma , Masculino
7.
Text Speech Dialog ; 9924: 470-477, 2016 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33244525

RESUMO

In this paper, we propose an automatic scoring approach for assessing the language deficit in a sentence repetition task used to evaluate children with language disorders. From ASR-transcribed sentences, we extract sentence similarity measures, including WER and Levenshtein distance, and use them as the input features in a regression model to predict the reference scores manually rated by experts. Our experimental analysis on subject-level scores of 46 children, 33 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and 13 with specific language impairment (SLI) show that proposed approach is successful in prediction of scores with averaged product-moment correlations of 0.84 between observed and predicted ratings across test folds.

8.
J Neurodev Disord ; 7(1): 19, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26097521

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: A subgroup of young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have significant language impairments (phonology, grammar, vocabulary), although such impairments are not considered to be core symptoms of and are not unique to ASD. Children with specific language impairment (SLI) display similar impairments in language. Given evidence for phenotypic and possibly etiologic overlap between SLI and ASD, it has been suggested that language-impaired children with ASD (ASD + language impairment, ALI) may be characterized as having both ASD and SLI. However, the extent to which the language phenotypes in SLI and ALI can be viewed as similar or different depends in part upon the age of the individuals studied. The purpose of the current study is to examine differences in memory abilities, specifically those that are key "markers" of heritable SLI, among young school-age children with SLI, ALI, and ALN (ASD + language normal). METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, three groups of children between ages 5 and 8 years participated: SLI (n = 18), ALI (n = 22), and ALN (n = 20). A battery of cognitive, language, and ASD assessments was administered as well as a nonword repetition (NWR) test and measures of verbal memory, visual memory, and processing speed. RESULTS: NWR difficulties were more severe in SLI than in ALI, with the largest effect sizes in response to nonwords with the shortest syllable lengths. Among children with ASD, NWR difficulties were not associated with the presence of impairments in multiple ASD domains, as reported previously. Verbal memory difficulties were present in both SLI and ALI groups relative to children with ALN. Performance on measures related to verbal but not visual memory or processing speed were significantly associated with the relative degree of language impairment in children with ASD, supporting the role of verbal memory difficulties in language impairments among early school-age children with ASD. CONCLUSIONS: The primary difference between children with SLI and ALI was in NWR performance, particularly in repeating two- and three-syllable nonwords, suggesting that shared difficulties in early language learning found in previous studies do not necessarily reflect the same underlying mechanisms.

9.
Proc Conf ; 2015: 117-123, 2015 Jun 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28691123

RESUMO

Restrictive and repetitive behavior (RRB) is a core symptom of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and are manifest in language. Based on this, we expect children with autism to talk about fewer topics, and more repeatedly, during their conversations. We thus hypothesize a higher semantic overlap ratio between dialogue turns in children with ASD compared to those with typical development (TD). Participants of this study include children ages 4-8, 44 with TD and 25 with ASD without language impairment. We apply several semantic similarity metrics to the children's dialogue turns in semi-structured conversations with examiners. We find that children with ASD have significantly more semantically overlapping turns than children with TD, across different turn intervals. These results support our hypothesis, and could provide a convenient and robust ASD-specific behavioral marker.

10.
Proc Conf ; 2015: 108-116, 2015 Jun 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28691122

RESUMO

Quantitative analysis of clinical language samples is a powerful tool for assessing and screening developmental language impairments, but requires extensive manual transcription, annotation, and calculation, resulting in error-prone results and clinical underutilization. We describe a system that performs automated morphological analysis needed to calculate statistics such as the mean length of utterance in morphemes (MLUM), so that these statistics can be computed directly from orthographic transcripts. Estimates of MLUM computed by this system are closely comparable to those produced by manual annotation. Our system can be used in conjunction with other automated annotation techniques, such as maze detection. This work represents an important first step towards increased automation of language sample analysis, and towards attendant benefits of automation, including clinical greater utilization and reduced variability in care delivery.

11.
Proc Conf Assoc Comput Linguist Meet ; 2015: 212-217, 2015 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29217874

RESUMO

A defining symptom of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the presence of restricted and repetitive activities and interests, which can surface in language as a perseverative focus on idiosyncratic topics. In this paper, we use semantic similarity measures to identify such idiosyncratic topics in narratives produced by children with and without ASD. We find that neurotypical children tend to use the same words and semantic concepts when retelling the same narrative, while children with ASD, even when producing accurate retellings, use different words and concepts relative not only to neurotypical children but also to other children with ASD. Our results indicate that children with ASD not only stray from the target topic but do so in idiosyncratic ways according to their own restricted interests.

12.
Res Autism Spectr Disord ; 8(9): 1121-1133, 2014 Sep 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25221619

RESUMO

Aggressive behavior problems (ABP) are frequent yet poorly understood in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and are likely to co-vary significantly with comorbid problems. We examined the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of ABP in a clinical sample of children with ASD (N = 400; 2-16.9 years). We also investigated whether children with ABP experience more intensive medical interventions, greater impairments in behavioral functioning, and more severe comorbid problems than children with ASD who do not have ABP. One in four children with ASD had Child Behavior Checklist scores on the Aggressive Behavior scale in the clinical range (T-scores ≥ 70). Sociodemographic factors (age, gender, parent education, race, ethnicity) were unrelated to ABP status. The presence of ABP was significantly associated with increased use of psychotropic drugs and melatonin, lower cognitive functioning, lower ASD severity, and greater comorbid sleep, internalizing, and attention problems. In multivariate models, sleep, internalizing, and attention problems were most strongly associated with ABP. These comorbid problems may hold promise as targets for treatment to decrease aggressive behavior and proactively identify high-risk profiles for prevention.

13.
SLT Workshop Spok Lang Technol ; 2014: 266-271, 2014 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29057398

RESUMO

Deficits in semantic and pragmatic expression are among the hallmark linguistic features of autism. Recent work in deriving computational correlates of clinical spoken language measures has demonstrated the utility of automated linguistic analysis for characterizing the language of children with autism. Most of this research, however, has focused either on young children still acquiring language or on small populations covering a wide age range. In this paper, we extract numerous linguistic features from narratives produced by two groups of children with and without autism from two narrow age ranges. We find that although many differences between diagnostic groups remain constant with age, certain pragmatic measures, particularly the ability to remain on topic and avoid digressions, seem to improve. These results confirm findings reported in the psychology literature while underscoring the need for careful consideration of the age range of the population under investigation when performing clinically oriented computational analysis of spoken language.

14.
Autism Res ; 6(5): 372-83, 2013 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23661504

RESUMO

We report on an automatic technique for quantifying two types of repetitive speech: repetitions of what the child says him/herself (self-repeats) and of what is uttered by an interlocutor (echolalia). We apply this technique to a sample of 111 children between the ages of four and eight: 42 typically developing children (TD), 19 children with specific language impairment (SLI), 25 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) plus language impairment (ALI), and 25 children with ASD with normal, non-impaired language (ALN). The results indicate robust differences in echolalia between the TD and ASD groups as a whole (ALN + ALI), and between TD and ALN children. There were no significant differences between ALI and SLI children for echolalia or self-repetitions. The results confirm previous findings that children with ASD repeat the language of others more than other populations of children. On the other hand, self-repetition does not appear to be significantly more frequent in ASD, nor does it matter whether the child's echolalia occurred within one (immediate) or two turns (near-immediate) of the adult's original utterance. Furthermore, non-significant differences between ALN and SLI, between TD and SLI, and between ALI and TD are suggestive that echolalia may not be specific to ALN or to ASD in general. One important innovation of this work is an objective fully automatic technique for assessing the amount of repetition in a transcript of a child's utterances.


Assuntos
Transtornos Globais do Desenvolvimento Infantil/diagnóstico , Ecolalia/diagnóstico , Transtornos do Desenvolvimento da Linguagem/diagnóstico , Distúrbios da Fala/diagnóstico , Comportamento Estereotipado , Comportamento Verbal , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Comorbidade , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Análise por Pareamento , Medida da Produção da Fala , Estatística como Assunto
15.
Proc Conf ; 2013: 709-714, 2013 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25419547

RESUMO

Atypical semantic and pragmatic expression is frequently reported in the language of children with autism. Although this atypicality often manifests itself in the use of unusual or unexpected words and phrases, the rate of use of such unexpected words is rarely directly measured or quantified. In this paper, we use distributional semantic models to automatically identify unexpected words in narrative retellings by children with autism. The classification of unexpected words is sufficiently accurate to distinguish the retellings of children with autism from those with typical development. These techniques demonstrate the potential of applying automated language analysis techniques to clinically elicited language data for diagnostic purposes.

16.
J Autism Dev Disord ; 41(4): 405-26, 2011 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20972615

RESUMO

In a sample of 46 children aged 4-7 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and intelligible speech, there was no statistical support for the hypothesis of concomitant Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). Perceptual and acoustic measures of participants' speech, prosody, and voice were compared with data from 40 typically-developing children, 13 preschool children with Speech Delay, and 15 participants aged 5-49 years with CAS in neurogenetic disorders. Speech Delay and Speech Errors, respectively, were modestly and substantially more prevalent in participants with ASD than reported population estimates. Double dissociations in speech, prosody, and voice impairments in ASD were interpreted as consistent with a speech attunement framework, rather than with the motor speech impairments that define CAS.


Assuntos
Apraxias/complicações , Transtornos Globais do Desenvolvimento Infantil/complicações , Distúrbios da Fala/complicações , Adolescente , Adulto , Apraxias/diagnóstico , Criança , Transtornos Globais do Desenvolvimento Infantil/diagnóstico , Pré-Escolar , Feminino , Humanos , Testes de Linguagem , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Escalas de Graduação Psiquiátrica , Distúrbios da Fala/diagnóstico
17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21097171

RESUMO

Dimensionality reduction and feature selection is an important aspect of electroencephalography based event related potential detection systems such as brain computer interfaces. In our study, a predefined sequence of letters was presented to subjects in a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) paradigm. EEG data were collected and analyzed offline. A linear discriminant analysis (LDA) classifier was designed as the ERP (Event Related Potential) detector for its simplicity. Different dimensionality reduction and feature selection methods were applied and compared in a greedy wrapper framework. Experimental results showed that PCA with the first 10 principal components for each channel performed best and could be used in both online and offline systems.


Assuntos
Eletroencefalografia/métodos , Processamento de Sinais Assistido por Computador , Algoritmos , Análise Discriminante , Humanos , Reconhecimento Automatizado de Padrão , Interface Usuário-Computador
18.
Autism ; 14(3): 215-36, 2010 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20591942

RESUMO

We present results obtained with new instrumental methods for the acoustic analysis of prosody to evaluate prosody production by children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Typical Development (TD). Two tasks elicit focal stress - one in a vocal imitation paradigm, the other in a picture-description paradigm; a third task also uses a vocal imitation paradigm, and requires repeating stress patterns of two-syllable nonsense words. The instrumental methods differentiated significantly between the ASD and TD groups in all but the focal stress imitation task. The methods also showed smaller differences in the two vocal imitation tasks than in the picture-description task, as was predicted. In fact, in the nonsense word stress repetition task, the instrumental methods showed better performance for the ASD group. The methods also revealed that the acoustic features that predict auditory-perceptual judgment are not the same as those that differentiate between groups. Specifically, a key difference between the groups appears to be a difference in the balance between the various prosodic cues, such as pitch, amplitude, and duration, and not necessarily a difference in the strength or clarity with which prosodic contrasts are expressed.


Assuntos
Transtorno Autístico/psicologia , Instrução por Computador , Acústica da Fala , Percepção Auditiva , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Instrução por Computador/métodos , Humanos , Julgamento , Fonética , Escalas de Wechsler
19.
Speech Commun ; 51(11): 1082-1097, 2009 Nov 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20160984

RESUMO

Assessment of prosody is important for diagnosis and remediation of speech and language disorders, for diagnosis of neurological conditions, and for foreign language instruction. Current assessment is largely auditory-perceptual, which has obvious drawbacks; however, automation of assessment faces numerous obstacles. We propose methods for automatically assessing production of lexical stress, focus, phrasing, pragmatic style, and vocal affect. Speech was analyzed from children in six tasks designed to elicit specific prosodic contrasts. The methods involve dynamic and global features, using spectral, fundamental frequency, and temporal information. The automatically computed scores were validated against mean scores from judges who, in all but one task, listened to "prosodic minimal pairs" of recordings, each pair containing two utterances from the same child with approximately the same phonemic material but differing on a specific prosodic dimension, such as stress. The judges identified the prosodic categories of the two utterances and rated the strength of their contrast. For almost all tasks, we found that the automated scores correlated with the mean scores approximately as well as the judges' individual scores. Real-time scores assigned during examination - as is fairly typical in speech assessment - correlated substantially less than the automated scores with the mean scores.

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