Kirrie Jane Ballard

Kirrie Jane Ballard
The University of Sydney · Discipline of Speech Pathology

PhD

About

175
Publications
115,923
Reads
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5,221
Citations
Citations since 2017
59 Research Items
2884 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
Additional affiliations
February 2009 - present
UNSW Sydney
Position
  • Honorary Associate
Description
  • I have worked with Professor John Hodges' group studying primary progressive aphasia and apraxia of speech in fronto-temporal dementia since February 2009.
February 2009 - present
Neuroscience Research Australia
Position
  • Honorary Associate
Description
  • Study of primary progressive aphasia and apraxia of speech in fronto-temporal dementia
January 2008 - present
The University of Arizona
Education
August 1992 - May 1997
Northwestern University
Field of study
  • Communication Sciences and Disorders
March 1981 - December 1983
The University of Queensland
Field of study
  • Speech Therapy

Publications

Publications (175)
Article
Full-text available
Background Individuals living in residential aged care facilities with cognitive decline are at risk of social isolation and decreased wellbeing. These risks may be exacerbated by decline in communication skills. There is growing awareness that group singing may improve sense of wellbeing for individuals with dementia. However, to date few studies...
Article
Purpose: Speed and accuracy of lexical access change with healthy ageing and neurodegeneration. While a word's immediate phonological neighbourhood density (i.e. words differing by a single phoneme) influences access, connectivity to all words in the phonological network (i.e. closeness centrality) may influence processing. This study aimed to inve...
Article
Full-text available
Background: There is growing recognition that communication can be affected in multiple sclerosis (MS) and can negatively impact relationships, employment and psychological well-being. Some persons with MS (PwMS) implement strategies to facilitate their communication; however, some do not. Most PwMS who report communication changes do not engage w...
Article
Background The relationship between swallowing outcomes and radiotherapy dose to dysphagia and aspiration-related structures (DARS) may be different following definitive versus postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) for mucosal head and neck cancer (HNC) and has not been well-studied. Method Patient- and clinician-reported swallowing measures were pros...
Article
Full-text available
Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) commonly affects the production of lexical stress contrast in polysyllabic words. Automated classification tools have the potential to increase reliability and efficiency in measuring lexical stress. Here, factors affecting the accuracy of a custom-built deep neural network (DNN)-based classification tool are evalu...
Article
Purpose: Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) is most commonly undertaken as a minimally invasive approach for early staged oropharyngeal cancers (OPC), with good expectations for a functional recovery. A small number of patients, however, require TORS for recurrent or advanced OPC tumours. Their prospects for longer term recovery of communication and...
Article
Purpose: Communication changes in multiple sclerosis (MS) are under-explored and under-recognised. Persons with MS (PwMS) are experts in their condition and play a valuable role in informing clinicians and researchers of their condition. This study aimed to investigate the perspectives of PwMS on: (1) MS-related communication changes, (2) the impac...
Article
Full-text available
Children who exhibit severe difficulties in the expression and/or comprehension of language are considered to have a developmental language disorder (DLD). The language of children with DLD is characterized by numerous errors, demonstrated most frequently and severely in the areas of phonology and morphosyntax. Recently, it has been revealed that a...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: This study investigated the efficacy of Treatment for Establishing Motor Program Organization (TEMPOSM) in childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Method: A mixed between- and within-participant design with multiple baselines across participants and behaviors was used to examine acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of skills. TEMPOSM wa...
Article
Full-text available
Aquired apraxia of speech is a disorder that impairs speech production, despite intact peripheral neuromotor function. Its pathomechanism remains to be established. Neurodegenerative lesion models provide an unequalled opportunity to explore the neural correlates of apraxia of speech, which is present in a subset of patients diagnosed with non-sema...
Article
Background Heterogeneity within studies examining transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) has made it challenging to make clear conclusions on functional outcomes. Infrequent use of instrumental swallow examinations compounds uncertainty surrounding the proposed functional advantage to TORS. Methods A prospective cohort of...
Article
Digital games can make speech therapy exercises more enjoyable for children and increase their motivation during therapy. However, many such games developed to date have not been designed for long-term use. To address this issue, we developed Apraxia World, a speech therapy game specifically intended to be played over extended periods. In this stud...
Article
Background: Persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) can experience language-related symptoms such as difficulty with word finding, understanding verbal information, and structuring discourse. These symptoms have negative psychological and interpersonal consequences. Studies exploring characteristics of language impairment in MS are limited. The aim o...
Article
Background: To date, studies have not explored whether a dual diagnosis of aphasia plus apraxia of speech (AOS) versus aphasia alone (APH) affects the response to language-based naming treatments. Aims: To compare the effects of semantic feature analysis (SFA) treatment for individuals with APH versus aphasia plus AOS, and to test if the presenc...
Chapter
This chapter reviews behavioral interventions and strategies for spoken communication for people with dementia and their communication partners. Communication changes in dementia are influenced by factors including dementia etiology, location of neuropathology, and disease stage. Comprehensive communication assessment aims to cover all levels of th...
Article
This letter is a response to the Letter to the Editor by Ghaemi et al. (2020), in which we discuss the comments made by Ghaemi et al. and conclude that, despite a minor error in wording, our systematic review provided an accurate reflection of the literature at that point in time.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The aim of this study was to determine the discriminative features that might contribute to differentiation of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) from other speech sound disorders (SSDs). Method A comprehensive literature search was conducted for articles or doctoral dissertations that included ≥ 1 child with CAS and ≥ 1 child with SSD. Of...
Article
Purpose “Children are the hidden victims of the COVID-19 pandemic” (United Nations Children's Fund, 2020). Timely and effective speech intervention is important to reduce the impact on children's school achievement, ability to make friends, mental health, future life opportunities, and government resources. Prior to the coronavirus disease (COVID-1...
Article
Background: Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) is a minimally invasive approach for the treatment of oropharyngeal cancer. The effects on swallowing and speech need to be comprehensively evaluated to understand the associated morbidity. Methods: A prospective cohort of 21 patients was recruited to undergo pre-TORS and post-TORS swallowing and comm...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Brain imaging has provided puzzle pieces in the understanding of language. In neurologically healthy populations, the structure of certain brain regions is associated with particular language functions (e.g., semantics, phonology). In studies on focal brain damage, certain brain regions or connections are considered sufficient or necessary...
Preprint
Full-text available
Purpose: Brain imaging has provided puzzle pieces in the understanding of language. In neurologically healthy populations, structure of certain brain regions is associated with particular language functions (e.g., semantics, phonology). In studies on focal brain damage, certain brain regions or connections are considered sufficient or necessary for...
Article
Purpose One of the key principles of motor learning supports using knowledge of results feedback (KR, i.e., whether a response was correct / incorrect only) during high intensity motor practice, rather than knowledge of performance (KP, i.e., whether and how a response was correct/incorrect). In the future, mobile technology equipped with automatic...
Article
Background There is growing recognition that communication and language can be compromised in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) designed to measure communication and language function in MS are currently lacking. Objectives This study aimed to develop and validate a novel PROM, the Communicati...
Article
Background: Acquired brain injury (ABI), such as Parkinson's disease, dementia or stroke, can result in communication difficulties that lead to an impoverished ability to connect meaningfully with others. Choral singing is a complex task that uses multiple brain regions which are also responsible for language and communication skills. The potentia...
Article
Full-text available
Sensorimotor adaptation experiments are commonly used to examine motor learning behavior and to uncover information about the underlying control mechanisms of many motor behaviors, including speech production. In the speech and voice domains, aspects of the acoustic signal are shifted/perturbed over time via auditory feedback manipulations. In resp...
Article
Background: Language impairment has only recently begun to be considered a clinical manifestation of MS. A decline in language abilities can lead to restricted participation in everyday activities that require communication, including vocational, social, and educational contexts. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to identify the prev...
Conference Paper
Automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology can be a useful tool in mobile apps for child speech therapy, empowering children to complete their practice with limited caregiver supervision. However, little is known about the feasibility of performing ASR on mobile devices, particularly when training data is limited. In this study, we investigated...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Muscle tension dysphonia (MTD) is used as a clinical and diagnostic descriptive label for a diverse range of vocal fold behaviors caused by increased tension of the (para) laryngeal musculature. These increased tension can occur in the cricothyroid muscle and in the ‘‘visor’’ mechanism, contributing to voice problems. The main goal of...
Article
Purpose Individuals with neurogenic speech disorders require ongoing therapeutic support to achieve functional communication goals. Alternative methods for service delivery, such as tablet-based speech therapy applications, may help bridge the gap and bring therapeutic interventions to the patient in an engaging way. The purpose of this study was t...
Article
Background Technological advances in radiotherapy have allowed investigations into new methods to spare healthy tissue in those treated for head and neck cancer. This systematic review with meta‐analysis demonstrates the effect that radiation has on swallowing. Methods Selection and analysis of studies examining the effect of radiation to swallowi...
Article
Full-text available
Two auditory perturbation experiments were used to investigate the integrity of neural circuits responsible for speech sensorimotor adaptation in acquired apraxia of speech (AOS). This has implications for understanding the nature of AOS as well as normal speech motor control. Two experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, compensatory responses...
Article
Purpose: To assist in remote treatment, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) rely on mobile games, which though entertaining, lack feedback mechanisms. Games integrated with automatic speech recognition (ASR) offer a solution where speech productions control gameplay. We therefore performed a feasibility study to assess children's and SLPs' experie...
Article
Background: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) refers to a chronic inflammation of the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord. Dysphagia is one of the symptoms that represent challenges in clinical practice for the management of MS patients. Dysphagia can result in serious complications leading to morbidity and death in late stages of MS....
Article
Purpose: A systematic search and review of published studies was conducted on the use of automated speech analysis (ASA) tools for analysing and modifying speech of typically-developing children learning a foreign language and children with speech sound disorders to determine (i) types, attributes, and purposes of ASA tools being used; (ii) accura...
Conference Paper
This paper presents Apraxia World, a remote therapy tool for speech sound disorders that integrates speech exercises into an engaging platformer-style game. In Apraxia World, the player controls the avatar with virtual buttons/joystick, whereas speech input is associated with assets needed to advance from one level to the next. We tested performanc...
Article
Full-text available
Objective The 10-item Dysphagia in Multiple Sclerosis (DYMUS) questionnaire is a self-administered tool used to identify swallowing problems in adults with MS. The questionnaire was not validated against other existing questionnaires to assess its convergent validity. Moreover, its test–retest reliability was not measured previously. Therefore, the...
Article
Background: Adynamic speech is characteristic of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), but higher language deficits have been reported inconsistently, in the context of clinical and pathological overlaps with progressive non-fluent aphasia (PNFA). Objective: The present study tested two hypotheses: 1) PSP and PNFA display impaired single word re...
Article
Background: McNeil and colleagues argued that individuals with pure apraxia of speech (AOS) have low variability of speech error type and error location within repeated multisyllabic words, compared to individuals with conduction aphasia. While this concept has been challenged, subsequent studies have varied in the stimuli and tasks used. Aims: Our...
Article
Purpose: High-quality orofacial somatosensory inputs are essential for achieving rapid and accurate motor outputs. Little somatosensory testing is currently being completed in clinical settings. The purpose of this study is to assess the feasibility and test-retest reliability of clinical assessment tools for orofacial somatosensory testing in hea...
Article
Purpose: To understand parents' perceptions of Rapid Syllable Transition (ReST) treatment and their experience of either telehealth or combined parent-clinician delivery of speech-language pathology. Method: Thematic analyses of semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 parents (5 telehealth, 5 parent-clinician) after their child complet...
Article
Purpose: Although speech-language pathologists use parent-delivered home-practice, little is known about the quality of this practice and its relation to treatment efficacy. This study reports both treatment outcomes and fidelity following combined clinician-parent delivery of Rapid Syllable Transition (ReST) treatment. Method: Five children age...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Stuttering is a disorder that affects millions of people all over the world. Over the pasttwo decades, there has been a great deal of interest in investigating the neural basis of the disorder. This systematic literature review is intended to provide a comprehensive summary of theneuroimaging literature on developmental stuttering. It is...
Article
Purpose: While the presence of dysphagia following partial glossectomy has been widely reported, there is insufficient quality evidence to guide clinical decision making about the treatment of this disorder. This study investigated a novel dysphagia rehabilitation approach using ultrasound tongue imaging for patient training. Method: Initially,...
Article
Logopenic variant of primary progressive aphasia Anomia Cortical thickness a b s t r a c t The majority of logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia (lv-PPA) cases harbour Alzheimer pathology, suggesting that lv-PPA constitutes an atypical presentation of Alz-heimer's disease (AD). However, even if caused by Alzheimer pathology, the clinical ma...
Article
Full-text available
Lexical stress is the contrast between strong and weak syllables within words. Ballard et al. (2012) examined the amount of stress contrastivity across adjacent syllables in word productions of typically developing three- to seven-year-olds and adults. Here, eight- to eleven-year-olds are compared with the adults from Ballard et al. using acoustic...
Article
Full-text available
Objective This study describes the phenotype in a large family with a strong, multigenerational history of severe speech sound disorder (SSD) persisting into adolescence and adulthood in approximately half the cases. Aims were to determine whether a core phenotype, broader than speech, separated persistent from resolved SSD cases; and to ascertain...
Article
Full-text available
Dysphagia or swallowing difficulties have been reported to be a concern in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS). This problem can result in several complications including aspiration pneumonia, reduced quality of life and an increase in mortality rate. No previous systematic reviews on treatment effects for dysphagia in MS have been published. The m...
Article
Background: Rapid Syllable Transitions (ReST) treatment uses pseudo-word targets with varying lexical stress to target simultaneously articulation, prosodic accuracy and coarticulatory transitions in childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). The treatment is efficacious for the acquisition of imitated pseudo-words, and generalization of skill to untreate...
Article
Full-text available
Cristian E Leyton, Kirrie J Ballard Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia Abstract: Since the modern description of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) more than 30 years ago, the interest in neurodegenerative conditions that selectively target the language network has grown exponentially. Fueled by advances i...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Disordered speech is common following treatment for tongue cancer, however there is insufficient high quality evidence to guide clinical decision making about treatment. This study investigated use of ultrasound tongue imaging as a visual feedback tool to guide tongue placement during articulation therapy with two participants followin...
Article
We present a multitier system for the remote administration of speech therapy to children with apraxia of speech. The system uses a client-server architecture model and facilitates task-oriented remote therapeutic training in both in-home and clinical settings. The system allows a speech language pathologist (SLP) to remotely assign speech producti...
Conference Paper
Resting State fMRI Data and Bayesian Network Diagnostic Capability
Conference Paper
Apraxia of Speech (AOS) is a speech disorder that results from a cerebral vascular accident or stroke. People with apraxia lose the ability to speak intelligibly due to an impairment in motor programming of the speech muscles. Diagnosis of AOS is accomplished by perceptual judgements of speech and, like other disorders, must also rule out other spe...
Article
Background: Despite divergent clinical features, language and amnestic presentations of Alzheimer's disease (AD) appear to show comparable regional amyloid-β (Aβ) burden. By using a statistical network approach, we aimed to identify complex network patterns of Aβ deposition and explore the effect of apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele on cortical Aβ...
Article
Full-text available
Alzheimer's disease is the cause of up to one third of cases of primary progressive aphasia or corticobasal syndrome. The objective of this study was to determine the accuracy of FDG-PET metabolic imaging for detection of Alzheimer's disease in patients with primary progressive aphasia or corticobasal syndrome. A cohort of subjects (n = 94) includi...
Article
Children with developmental disabilities such as childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) require repeated intervention sessions with a speech therapist, sometimes extending over several years. Technology-based therapy tools offer the potential to reduce the demanding workload of speech therapists as well as time and cost for families. In response to this...
Article
Persistent Speech Disorder (PSD) is present when a speech impairment extends beyond 8–9 years of age. Persistent Speech Disorder can extend into adolescence and adulthood. While PSD can include individuals with residual speech errors, such as distortions of /r/, /s/, and /z/, clinicians are particularly concerned in cases where PSD affects speech i...
Article
Full-text available
Motor speech disorders, including apraxia of speech (AOS), account for over 50% of the communication disorders following stroke. Given its prevalence and impact, and the need to understand its neural mechanisms, we used resting state functional MRI to examine functional connectivity within a network of regions previously hypothesized as being assoc...
Article
This randomized controlled trial compared the experimental Rapid Syllable Transition Treatment (ReST) to the Nuffield Dyspraxia Programme (3rd edition, NDP3), used widely in clinical practice in Australia and the United Kingdom. Both programs aim to improve speech motor planning/programming for children with apraxia of speech, but they differ in ty...