Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Language Outcomes of Children with Cerebral Palsy aged 5 years and 6 years: A Population-Based Study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Sheena Reilly, Dr Lindsay Pennington



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


AIM To examine the frequency, range and features of language impairment in a community sample of children with cerebral palsy (CP) aged 5 to 6 years. METHOD Children with CP born between 2005 and 2007 were identified through the Victorian Cerebral Palsy Register. Eighty-four participants were recruited, representing 48% of the contacted families. The recruited sample was representative of non-participants. Participants completed standardised measures of receptive and expressive language, and non-verbal cognition. RESULTS Language impairment was identified in 61% (51/84) of participants. Twenty-four percent (20/84) were non-verbal. Co-occurring receptive and expressive language impairment was common (44%, 37/84). Isolated receptive (7%, 6/84) and expressive (5%, 4/84) impairments occurred relatively infrequently. At a group level, verbal and non-verbal participants demonstrated deficits across language sub-domains (i.e., semantics, syntax, morphology), rather than in single domains. Cognitive impairment and GMFCS levels IV-V were associated with higher rates of language impairment, OR=15.2, 95% CI=3.2-71.8 and OR=8.5, 95% CI=1.8-40.3. Only cognition was independently associated with language impairment when both of these factors were considered within a multivariable model. Interpretation Language impairment was common in 5 and 6 year old children with CP, affecting 3 out of 5 children. Participants were impaired across linguistic sub-domains indicating a generalised language deficit. Findings suggest most children would benefit from a clinical language assessment. To target services effectively, sub-groups of individuals with CP at greatest risk for language impairment need to be identified.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mei C, Reilly S, Reddihough D, Mensah F, Pennington L, Morgan A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

Year: 2016

Volume: 58

Issue: 6

Pages: 605-611

Print publication date: 01/06/2016

Online publication date: 14/11/2015

Acceptance date: 20/09/2015

Date deposited: 31/05/2016

ISSN (print): 0012-1622

ISSN (electronic): 1469-8749

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.12957


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Find at Newcastle University icon    Link to this publication