Clinician vs. Machine: Estimating Vocalizations Rates in Young Children With Developmental Disorders Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the reliability of an automated language analysis system, the Language Environment Analysis (LENA), compared with a human transcriber to determine the rate of child vocalizations during recording sessions that were significantly shorter than recommended for the automated device. Method ... Research Note
Newly Published
Research Note  |   June 11, 2018
Clinician vs. Machine: Estimating Vocalizations Rates in Young Children With Developmental Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shelley L. Bredin-Oja
    The Schiefelbusch Institute of Life Span Studies, University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Heather Fielding
    The Schiefelbusch Institute of Life Span Studies, University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Kandace K. Fleming
    The Schiefelbusch Institute of Life Span Studies, University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Steven F. Warren
    The Schiefelbusch Institute of Life Span Studies, University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Shelley L. Bredin-Oja: sbredin-oja@ku.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer
    Editor-in-Chief: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer×
  • Editor: Cynthia Cress
    Editor: Cynthia Cress×
Article Information
Special Populations / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Newly Published / Research Note
Research Note   |   June 11, 2018
Clinician vs. Machine: Estimating Vocalizations Rates in Young Children With Developmental Disorders
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0016
History: Received February 2, 2017 , Revised July 7, 2017 , Accepted March 19, 2018
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0016
History: Received February 2, 2017; Revised July 7, 2017; Accepted March 19, 2018

Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the reliability of an automated language analysis system, the Language Environment Analysis (LENA), compared with a human transcriber to determine the rate of child vocalizations during recording sessions that were significantly shorter than recommended for the automated device.

Method Participants were 6 nonverbal male children between the ages of 28 and 46 months. Two children had autism diagnoses, 2 had Down syndrome, 1 had a chromosomal deletion, and 1 had developmental delay. Participants were recorded by the LENA digital language processor during 14 play-based interactions with a responsive adult. Rate of child vocalizations during each of the 84 recordings was determined by both a human transcriber and the LENA software.

Results A statistically significant difference between the 2 methods was observed for 4 of the 6 participants. Effect sizes were moderate to large. Variation in syllable structure did not explain the difference between the 2 methods. Vocalization rates from the 2 methods were highly correlated for 5 of the 6 participants.

Conclusions Estimates of vocalization rates from nonverbal children produced by the LENA system differed from human transcription during sessions that were substantially shorter than the recommended recording length. These results confirm the recommendation of the LENA Foundation to record sessions of at least 1 hr.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by a National Institute of Child Health and Development grant (P30 HD002528, awarded to John Colombo, PI) and by a National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders training grant (T32 DC000052, awarded to Mabel Rice, PI).
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