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Phonological awareness in “Swedish-speaking” children with complex communication needs

Journal article
Authors Maria Larsson
Annika Dahlgren Sandberg
Published in Jourmal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Volume 33
Issue 1
Pages 22-35
Publication year 2008
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 22-35
Language en
Keywords Phonological awareness, complex communication needs, articulatory ability
Subject categories Psychology


Background Children with complex communication needs (CCN) often experience problems achieving literacy. The aim of this project was to study phonological awareness, a central predictor for literacy achievement, in children with CCN, and to compare their performance to a group of children with natural speech. Method One group of 15 Swedish children with CCN and cerebral palsy (CP), and one group of 15 children with natural speech, matched for gender, linguistic age and mental age, were administered nine phonological awareness tasks, testing onset/rime and phonemic awareness. Results Overall, children with CCN showed good levels of phonological awareness. However, on the one task that did not include any verbal support from the experimenter, the children with CCN performed at a significantly lower level. Conclusion Phonological awareness does not seem to depend on overt articulation, although the lack of speech might affect the children’s ability to manipulate linguistic material that is not verbally presented.

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