Speech Discrimination – Overview, Methods and Causes

Speech Discrimination is a measurement in which the total no of words understands the total number of words listen is measured. It is, how well you understand the words when the speech is loud enough to hear. Speech Discrimination is measured by the Audiologist. The task to check speech discrimination is Simple that the Audiologist will provide you the speech in headphones with comfortable volume, means which is loud enough to hear and you can listen to this without any problem.

speech discrimination

The speech includes the number of words which are used in the ordinary Conversation .and than the audiologist ask you to repeats the words. If you repeat all the words, means that your speech discrimination is good .while the Number of words you miss will decrease the percentage of your speech discrimination. The Normal Speech Discrimination is 100%, and the speech discrimination between the range of 85-95% is good, while lower than this is considered poor.

Speech Discrimination in Children

Speech Discrimination in Children is that how much words a child understands among the total number of words spoken to him. It is found that generally speech discrimination in the Children of age 5-11 is not good as they hear the word properly but unable to understand, but the speech discrimination in the children between the age of 12-18 is very good if they are not affected by any hearing problem. 

Methods to Check Speech Discrimination in Children

The speech discrimination in the children of age 2-5 is checked by using the NU-CHIPS (Northwestern University-Children’s Perception of Speech) test. In this test, the picture book is used but the number of pictures is kept low . the child hears the recording and points out the correct picture among the given choices.

WIPI (Word Intelligibility by Picture Identification) test is Used to Check the Speech Discrimination in the Children between the age of 5-8. It is similar to the NU-CHIPS test but the only difference is that the no of pictures is increased in this test. And the children have to point out the correct one after listening to the recording.

The Speech Discrimination in the children of age above than 12 is checked by using the W-22 or NU-6. The administrator starts the recording and the patient has to repeats the words. The Difficulty level can also be changed in this test. The same technique is used for the adults, but the difficulty level of the recording is increased.

speech disorder

Causes of Poor Speech Discrimination 

One of the main Cause for poor speech Discrimination is hearing loss. These speech discriminations also lead to various types of speech disorders. It is one of the main reason which directly affects the speech discrimination. If an Individual is suffering from the problem of Hearing loss than he/she might suffer from remembering the words spoken to him/her. Hearing loss is the problem in which a person is not able to listen to the word properly.

Another reason for poor speech discrimination is maybe because of the unwanted sound which we often called as Noise. Noise is the Unwanted Signal which affects the quality of the actual Message. It is mostly when the communication is done through a Telephonic mode of Communication. Sometimes we are also unable to hear the words properly on Mobiles/Telephones because there is noise in the medium which results in the quality of the actual message.

This problem is general in the Noisy Environment. As the noise gets mixed with the message and one cannot hear the actual words properly. Thus we can say that the poor Speech Discrimination is not only causing when the individual is suffering from the problem of hearing loss. But it can also be caused when the Communication is in the Noisy Environment.

How to Improve Poor Speech Discrimination

  • The main problem of poor speech discrimination is not listening to the word properly because of the hearing problem. So by Using Hearing aid, one can improve the quality of the sound. A hearing aid is generally used by the people who suffer from the problem of Hearing loss. The hearing aid helps an individual to listen to the word properly. As one can listen to the word properly and understand them,  which results in the improvement of the Speech Discrimination.
  • Cochlear Implants is another device which is used as an alternative to the Hearing aid. This is the device which bypasses the sound directly to the brain without passing it through the damaged part of the ear. And improve the hearing power of the patient which results in good speech discrimination.