Preventing Speech and Language Disorders in Children With Classic Galactosemia

  • STATUS
    Recruiting
  • End date
    Aug 1, 2025
  • participants needed
    309
  • sponsor
    Arizona State University
Updated on 10 March 2022

Summary

A critical knowledge gap is whether proactive intervention can improve speech and language outcomes in infants at known risk for communication disorders. Speech and language assessments and treatments are usually not initiated until deficits can be diagnosed, no earlier than age 2-3 years. Preventive services are not available. Children with classic galactosemia (CG) hold the keys towards investigating whether proactive services are more effective than conventional management. CG is a recessively inherited inborn error of metabolism characterized by defective conversion of galactose. Despite early detection and strict adherence to lactose-restricted diets, children with CG are at very high risk not only for motor and learning disabilities but also for severe speech sound disorder and language impairment. Delays are evident from earliest signals of communication and persist into adulthood in many cases but speech/language assessment and treatment are usually not initiated until deficits manifest. However, because CG is diagnosed via newborn screening, the known genotype-phenotype association can be leveraged to investigate the efficacy of proactive interventions during the acquisition of prespeech (2 to 12 months) and early communication skills (13 to 24 months). If this proactive intervention is more effective than standard care regarding speech and language outcomes in children with CG, this will change their clinical management from deficit-based to proactive services. It will also motivate investigating this approach in infants with other types of known risk factors, e.g., various genetic causes and very low birth weight.

The Babble Boot Camp is a program for children with CG, ages 2 to 24 months. The intervention is implemented by a pediatric speech-language pathologist (SLP) via parent training. Activities and routines are designed to foster earliest signals of communication, increase coo and babble behaviors, support the emergence of first words and word combinations, and expand syntactic complexity. The SLP meets with parents online every week for 10 to 15 minutes to provide instruction, feedback, and guidance. Close monitoring of progress is achieved via regularly administered questionnaires, a monthly day-long audio recording, and the SLPs weekly progress notes. At age 24 months, the active phase of the Babble Boot Camp ends. The children receive a professional speech/language assessment at ages 2 1/2, 3 1/2, and 4 1/2 years.

Description

Speech and language assessments and treatments are usually not initiated until deficits can be diagnosed, which occurs at age 2-3 years at the earliest. Preventive services are not available. Children with classic galactosemia (CG) hold the keys towards investigating whether proactive services are more effective than conventional management. CG is a recessively inherited inborn error of metabolism characterized by defective conversion of galactose. Despite early detection and strict adherence to lactose-restricted diets, children with CG are at very high risk not only for motor and learning disabilities but also for severe speech sound disorder and language impairment. Delays are evident from earliest signals of communication and persist into adulthood in many cases. As with most other children, speech and language assessments and treatment are usually not initiated until deficits manifest. However, because CG is diagnosed via newborn screening, the known genotype-phenotype association can be leveraged to investigate whether proactive interventions during the acquisition of prespeech (2 to 12 months) and early communication skills (13 to 24 months) can mitigate the speech and language deficits. If the investigators show that interventions during the first two years of life are more effecting in improving speech and language outcomes in children with CG, compared to traditional care, this will change their clinical management from deficit-based to proactive services. It will also motivate investigating this approach in infants with other types of known risk factors for communication disorders, e.g., various genetic causes and very low birth weight.

The investigators created an intervention program designed to support communication abilities during the prespeech and early speech and language stages for ages 2 to 24 months. The Babble Boot Camp (BBC) is implemented via parent training by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) with expertise in early childhood using Zoom, a HIPAA-compliant telepractice software provided for free by the PI's institution, to connect with the families. Zoom runs on computers, tablets, and smartphones. Parents learn about the typical milestones of prespeech, speech, and language development, potential red flags for delays, and importantly, activities that support typical development for all stages of the program. Following an orientation to the program, the SLP meets with each family once per week for training and consultation the relevant activities given the child's current speech/language status. Examples of activities are stimulating and reinforcing coos and babble, enriching the child's linguistic environment with joint book reading and pointing out the names of objects, and expanding child utterances to provide slightly more complex model sentences. The key principle underlying all activities is the zone of proximal development, also referred to as scaffolding, where parents provide speech and language models that bridge what the child can already to and what is slightly beyond the child's skill set: the model is in the zone of skills that the child can do with help. One key skill that is targeted throughout the program is imitation. The program brochure includes the rationale, instructions, and examples for each activity, such as (direct quote from the brochure): "Expanding on your child's utterance will provide a model for more complex sentence structures as well as increase her/his vocabulary. An added benefit is to let your child hear words in their correctly produced forms when her/his own productions are showing some incorrect speech sounds. This will build your child's awareness of what the word should sound like and get her/him ready to try the correct form. Throughout your daily routine, listen to your child's utterances and expand upon them slightly. You can add descriptive words or fill in some missing words to make a more complete sentence without overwhelming your child's ability to comprehend your sentence.

Examples: Child: "Goggie bye-bye." Parent: "Yeah, that doggie is going bye-bye!" - Child:

"Mommy doing?" Parent: "What is Mommy doing? She is taking Sammie outside."

Details
Condition Classic Galactosemia, Speech Disorders in Children, Language Disorders in Children
Treatment Babble Boot Camp
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03838016
SponsorArizona State University
Last Modified on10 March 2022

Eligibility

Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Newborn diagnosis of classic galactosemia
Any ethnic or racial background
Primary language in the home is English
Any geographic region in the US and other countries because the intervention is done online
Computer and internet access (we can help if a family wants to participate but doesn't have this access)
At least one parent must have at least an 8th grade education to be able to fill out the questionnaires

Exclusion Criteria

Other forms of galactosemia outside of classic galactosemia
Medical, sensory, or psychiatric condition that could introduce confounding, e.g., Trisomy 21 or deafness
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer  to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact

site

Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider

Loading...

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 

 • 

Private

Reply by • Private
Loading...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.
Loading...

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note