Contributions to Science

Early prediction of speech impairments in cerebral palsy

My primary research program aims to advance the early prediction of speech impairments in infants and young children with cerebral palsy (CP) through the study of vocal characteristics. My central hypothesis is that neurological disturbances at birth affecting motor development can also affect early speech development, potentially revealing vocal markers for reduced speech functioning. This work is informed by the stage model of vocal development, which presumes that infant vocal development lays the foundation for later speech abilities. The long-term goal of this research is to facilitate earlier referrals to speech therapy to introduce effective communication interventions for children with CP and speech impairments at the youngest possible age.

Featured papers:

Infant vocal fitness signaling and the origins of language in humans

This line of work studies how infants vocally signal information about their developmental progress to caregivers. My dissertation revealed three key findings. First, infant vocal imitation is rare in the first year of life but is highly salient to listeners. This underscores its potential to be used as a vocal signal of developmental information for caregivers. Second, infants produce nonsocial vocalizations about three times more frequently than social ones, which highlights independent vocal play as a primary driver of the development of articulatory properties of speech. Last, although infants vocalize the most during independent vocal play, they produce their most advanced vocal forms during social periods. This suggests that infants signal their most complex levels of vocal developmental ability to caregivers in periods of direct attention. 

Featured papers:

Open science practices in communication sciences and disorders

I am actively involved in a secondary line of research using team science studying the impact and adoption of open science practices, including open access publication, in the field of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD). This work emphasizes the necessity of promoting and incentivizing open science in CSD to improve equitable access to knowledge across international, clinical, and scientific communities.

Featured papers:

Upcoming and Recent

Conference Presentations


American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine Annual Meeting

Quebec City, CAN October 23-26, 2024
Oral Paper

Speech and Language Development in Children with Cerebral Palsy and Seizures

Long, HL, Romer, K, Spence, D, Warner, W, & Rhodes, L

MoLA 2024

Meeting on Language in Autism 2024

Durham, NC March 14-17, 2024
Oral Paper

Canonical babbling trajectories across the first year of life in autism and typical development

Long, HL, Ramsay, G, Yoo, H, Su, PL, Bene, ER, Pileggi, M, Brane, N, Klaiman, C, Pulver, SL, & Richardson, S, & Oller, DK

Motor Speech Conference 2024

San Diego, CA February 21-24, 2024
Oral Paper

An examination of the relationship between infant vocal characteristics and later speech motor involvement in cerebral palsy

Long, HL & Hustad, KC

ASHA 2023

Annual Convention for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association

Boston, MA November 16-18, 2023

Vocal Production of Children with Anarthria and Cerebral Palsy

Long, HL & Hustad, KC


An Examination of Early Vocal Production and Speech-Language Outcomes in Infants at Risk for CP

Long, HL Sandgren, C, Mabie, H, & Hustad, KC

Technical Demo

Self-Archiving 101: Benefits for Clinicians and Researchers

Drown, L, Kearney, E, El Amin, M, & Long, HL

Technical Demo

Bypassing the Paywall: Accessing Journal Articles for Clinical Practice and Evidence-Based Learning

Ciullo, B, Lassiter, T, Pfeiffer, D, Drown, L, Long, HL, Gaeta, L, & Harold, M

Oral seminar

Vocal Development in Typically Developing Infants and Infants Later Diagnosed with ASD

Oller, DK, Ramsay, G, Long, HL, Yoo, H, Su, PL, Pileggi, M, Bene, ER, Brane, N, Klaiman, C, Pulver, SL, & Richardson, S