During the month of May, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association organizes ALS Awareness Month to provide information and share stories. In recognition, ASHA Journals is sharing recent articles focusing on speech assessment in ALS, the effectiveness of tools to improve communication, and swallowing in individuals with ALS.

Speech Assessment in People With ALS

Improving Perceptual Speech Ratings: The Effects of Auditory Training on Judgments of Dysarthric Speech: Performing proper voice assessment in people with ALS and other diseases can help ASHA’s speech-language pathologists (SLPs) better provide care for patients with, and track the progression of, the disease. This article focuses on the potential of auditory training to help individuals reach an agreement on an individual’s speech assessment.

Automated Vowel Articulation Analysis in Connected Speech Among Progressive Neurological Diseases, Dysarthria Types, and Dysarthria Severities: In this study, researchers designed a fully automated method for analyzing vowel articulation impairment associated with ALS and other progressive neurological diseases. By automating this process successfully, we will get closer to a universal method of screening motor speech disorders.

Comparison of Vowel and Sentence Intelligibility in People With Dysarthria Secondary to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Currently, the Sentence portion of the Speech Intelligibility Test is used to identify speech intelligibility in people with dysarthria secondary to ALS, but these scores don’t always align with speech deficits. This article shows that SLPs can use overall vowel intelligibility scores to detect speech impairments in people with mild dysarthria and to detect articulatory function in people with severe dysarthria.

Aided Communication and Swallowing Concerns in ALS

Effects of Aided Communication on Communicative Participation for People With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Aided communication—such as writing, using a communication board, or even using a speech-generating device—can help people with ALS navigate speech changes. People with ALS self-rated their communication participation with and without communication aids, but the variability in ratings highlighted the importance of an individualized approach.

Linking Oropharyngeal Swallowing Physiology and Functional Clinical Predictors in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Dysphagia screening in ALS largely focuses on screening and predicting dysphagia and aspiration, with less attention to the physiology of these swallowing impairments. Learn how a psychometric swallow assessment measure can give physicians more information on the extent of the impact of ALS across the swallowing continuum.

Profiling Number of Swallows per Bolus and Residue in Individuals With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: An estimated 85% of people with ALS develop dysphagia, which often manifests as an impairment to swallowing efficiency. In this article, the authors researched if the number of swallows per bolus could also be used to quantify swallowing efficiency in this population.

More Resources From ASHA

These articles are just a small sample of the hundreds of ASHA’s journal articles that focus on ALS. As research into this disease increases, be sure to check back on ASHAWire to read the latest research or to find the articles you need using our advanced search function. If you’re looking for more from ASHA, start with ASHA’s ALS evidence map, which contains reviews, guidelines, and other evidence that clinicians can use. By screening for speech and swallowing disorders and helping people with ALS communicate, ASHA members play an important role on the ALS care team. In honor of ALS Awareness Month, we thank