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Story retelling and language ability in school-aged children with cerebral palsy and speech impairment.

Journal article
Authors Ann Nordberg
Annika Dahlgren Sandberg
Carmela Miniscalco
Published in International journal of language & communication disorders / Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists
Volume 50
Issue 6
Pages 801-13
ISSN 1460-6984
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Department of Psychology
Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Pages 801-13
Language en
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


BACKGROUND: Research on retelling ability and cognition is limited in children with cerebral palsy (CP) and speech impairment. AIMS: To explore the impact of expressive and receptive language, narrative discourse dimensions (Narrative Assessment Profile measures), auditory and visual memory, theory of mind (ToM) and non-verbal cognition on the retelling ability of children with CP and speech impairment. METHODS & PROCEDURES: Fifteen speaking children with speech impairment (seven girls, eight boys) (mean age = 11 years, SD = 1;4 years), and different types of CP and different levels of gross motor and cognitive function participated in the present study. Story retelling skills were tested and analysed with the Bus Story Test (BST) and the Narrative Assessment Profile (NAP). Receptive language ability was tested with the Test for Reception of Grammar-2 (TROG-2) and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test - IV (PPVT-IV). Non-verbal cognitive level was tested with the Raven's coloured progressive matrices (RCPM), memory functions assessed with the Corsi block-tapping task (CB) and the Digit Span from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III. ToM was assessed with the false belief items of the two story tests "Kiki and the Cat" and "Birthday Puppy". OUTCOMES & RESULTS: The children had severe problems with retelling ability corresponding to an age-equivalent of 5;2-6;9 years. Receptive and expressive language, visuo-spatial and auditory memory, non-verbal cognitive level and ToM varied widely within and among the children. Both expressive and receptive language correlated significantly with narrative ability in terms of NAP total scores, so did auditory memory. CONCLUSION & IMPLICATIONS: The results suggest that retelling ability in the children with CP in the present study is dependent on language comprehension and production, and memory functions. Consequently, it is important to examine retelling ability together with language and cognitive abilities in these children in order to provide appropriate support.

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