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Dynamic Evaluation of Motor Speech Skills (DEMSS)
Please see this article for more information about the instrument: Strand et al., 2012.
For more information about this instrument contact: Edythe A. Strand,
Exploratory: Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Short Description of Instrument

The Dynamic Evaluation of Motor Speech Skills (DEMSS) is designed to examine the speech movements of younger children and/or children who have significant speech impairments, including children who cannot produce many sounds, syllables, or words (Strand et al., 2013). The DEMSS is designed to examine speech characteristics that are associated with childhood apraxia of speech. The DEMSS has nine subtests, and 66 utterances. The 66 utterances result in 171 items with 66 utterances for overall articulatory accuracy; 56 utterances for vowel accuracy; 21 utterances for prosodic accuracy; and 28 utterances for consistency. The administration of the DEMSS requires three main features: the imitation of utterances; imitative responses at various levels of cueing; and cueing used to elicit improvement in accuracy over repeated trials (Strand et al., 2013).

The DEMSS total score is the sum of four subscores (overall articulatory accuracy, vowel accuracy,  prosody accuracy, and consistency). Items are scored either during testing or from a videotape sample following administration of the test. The DEMSS uses a dynamic assessment strategy in which there are multiple attempts to elicit responses, using clinician cues that are designed to facilitate performance.
Overall articulatory: 5-point multidimensional scoring
0 = correct accuracy ; 1 = consisten developmental substitution error without slowness or distortion of movement gestures; 2 = correct after first cue attempt; 3 = correct after two or three additional attempts; 4 = not correct after all cue attempts
Vowel accuracy: 3-point multidimensional scoring
0 = correct; 1 = mild distortion; 2 = frank distortion
Prosodic accuracy: binary scoring
0 = correct; 1 = incorrect
Consistency: binary scoring
0 = consistent across all trials
1 = inconsistent across any 2 or more trials
Psychometric Properties: Intra-rater reliability and test-retest reliability were both 89% and inter-rater reliability was 91%. Based on cluster analysis, validity for the DEMSS was above 90% (Strand et al., 2013).
Strand EA, McCauley RJ, Weigand SD, Stoeckel RE, Baas BS. A motor speech assessment for children with severe speech disorders: reliability and validity evidence. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2013;56(2):505-520.
Other references:
Gubiani MB, Pagliarin KC, Keske-Soares M. Tools for the assessment of childhood apraxia of speech. CoDAS. 2015;27(6):610-615.


Document last updated July 2019