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The phonological awareness abilities of children with cerebral palsy who do not speak

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Barbara Dodd


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To investigate the importance of the connection between being able to speak and the emergence of phonological awareness abilities, the performance of children with cerebral palsy (five speakers and six non-speakers) was assessed at syllable, onset-rime, and phoneme levels. The children were matched with control groups of children for non-verbal intelligence. No group differences were found for the identification of syllables, reading non-words, or judging spoken rhyme. The children with cerebral palsy who could speak, however, performed better than the children with cerebral palsy who could not speak and the control group of children without disabilities, judging written words for rhyme. The children with cerebral palsy who could not speak performed poorly in comparison to those who could speak ( but not the control group of children) when segmenting syllables and on the phoneme manipulation task. The findings suggest that non-speaking children with cerebral palsy have phonological awareness performance that varies according to the mental processing demands of the task. The ability to speak facilitates performance when phonological awareness tasks ( written rhyme judgment, syllable segmentation, and phoneme manipulation) require the use of an articulatory loop.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Card R, Dodd B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Year: 2006

Volume: 22

Issue: 3

Pages: 149-159

ISSN (print): 0743-4618

ISSN (electronic): 1477-3848

Publisher: Informa Healthcare


DOI: 10.1080/07434610500431694


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