PhD, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Faculty Core Co-Director, Research Participation Core
Associate Professor of Communicative Disorders
1500 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53705
Web: Department of Communicative Disorders
Web: Speech Intelligibility & Augmentative Communication Laboratory
Web: Parents of Young Children with Cerebral Palsy
My work focuses on individuals with reduced speech intelligibility caused by neuro-motor impairment (i.e. dysarthria). I have a special interest in children and adults with cerebral palsy, particularly those who have speech impairments. My research has three main themes: 1.) characterizing longitudinal development of speech, language, and communication in children with cerebral palsy; 2.) understanding variables that influence speech intelligibility; and 3.) developing / validating communication interventions that integrate augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies with natural speech.
Two groups of studies are currently ongoing in my laboratory. The first deals with communication development in young children with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy (CP) is regarded as the most common cause of severe motor disability in children. Although motor impairment is the primary defining feature of CP, other disabilities such as mental retardation, seizure disorder, and learning disabilities often co-occur. Research suggests that 60% of children with CP have communication problems; however, the exact nature of these problems has never been comprehensively examined. As a result, very little is known about the nature of speech, language, and cognitive problems and their co-occurrence with gross motor, and fine motor problems. Data-based prognoses for communication development are unknown, and many children who have CP do not receive appropriate intervention until they experience significant communication failure. Our ongoing longitudinal study of communication development in children with CP seeks to characterize speech and language development beginning in the toddler years and proceeding through elementary school. Data collected from these children will be used to: identify communication subgroups within the population of children with CP; establish growth curves for speech and language development in each subgroup; and identify variables that predict communication outcomes over time within each subgroup. Results of this research will have important clinical implications, leading to the advancement of interventions that are specifically tailored to different communication subgroups and ultimately to better long-term communication outcomes and quality of life for individuals with CP. This research will also contribute to the broader theoretical understanding of CP, where classification of speech and language problems has been identified as an important priority.
The second group of studies in my lab focuses on understanding variables that influence speech intelligibility in children and adults with dysarthria. Participants in these studies range in age from 3 80 years, and most have cerebral palsy or other motor-based disorders that result in compromised intelligibility. Specifically, studies are examining the interaction of linguistic features of utterances and intelligibility, the influence of production features on intelligibility, and the influence of supplemental AAC strategies on intelligibility. We are also working to describe characteristics of prosody, particularly fundamental frequency, in adults with cerebral palsy as well as the effects of medical interventions such as intrathecal baclofen on speech production. Collectively, this research will lead to the development of more effective communication interventions for individuals with dysarthria. The work will also contribute theoretical information that furthers our understanding of variables associated with intelligibility, forming the basis for a comprehensive model of speech intelligibility in dysarthria.For all of the research in my lab, we work closely with several clinics at the Waisman Center including: the Communication Aids and Systems Clinic, the Cerebral Palsy Clinic, the Developmental Disabilities Clinic, and the Spasticity and Movement Disorders Clinic.
Hustad, K.C. (2007). Contribution of two sources of linguistic knowledge to intelligibility of speakers with cerebral palsy. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 50, 1228-1240.
Hustad, K.C., Dardis, C.M., & McCourt, K. (2007). Effects of visual information on intelligibility of open and closed class words in predictable sentences produced by speakers with dysarthria. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 21, 353-367.
Hustad, K.C. (2006). A closer look at transcription intelligibility for speakers with dysarthria: Evaluation of scoring paradigms and linguistic errors made by listeners. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 15, 268-277
Hustad, K.C., & Garcia, J.M. (2005). Aided and unaided augmentative and alternative communication strategies: Alphabet supplementation versus iconic hand gestures. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 58.
Hustad, K.C. & Gearhart, K. (2004). Listener attitudes toward adults who use speech supplementation strategies: Relationship with intelligibility. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 13, 168-181.
Hustad, K.C., Auker, J., Natale, N., & Carlson, R. (2003). Improving intelligibility of speakers with profound dysarthria and cerebral palsy. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 19, 187-198.
Hustad, K.C., Jones, T., & Dailey, S. (2003). Implementing speech supplementation strategies: Effects on intelligibility and speech rate of individuals with chronic severe dysarthria. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 46, 462-474.
Hustad, K.C., & Beukelman, D.R. (2002). Listener comprehension of severely dysarthric speech: Effects of linguistic cues and stimulus cohesion. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 45, 545-558.