Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Communication disorders in young children with cerebral palsy

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Lindsay Pennington, Mona Dave, Professor Mark PearceORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2020 The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Mac Keith Press. Aim: To test the prediction of communication disorder severity at 5 years of age from characteristics at 2 years for children with cerebral palsy (CP) whose communication is giving cause for concern. Method: In this cohort study, 77 children (52 males; 25 females) with communication difficulties and CP were visited at home at 2 (mean 2y 4mo; SD 3mo) and 5 (mean 5y 5mo; SD 4mo) years of age. Information on the type and distribution of motor disorder, seizures, gross and fine motor function, hearing, and vision were collected from medical notes. Non-verbal cognition, language comprehension, language expression, spoken vocabulary, and methods of communication were assessed directly at age 2 years. At 5 years, communication and speech function were rated using the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS), Functional Communication Classification System (FCCS), and Viking Speech Scale (VSS). Results: In multivariable regression models, CP type, Gross Motor Function Classification System level, vision, the amount of speech understood by strangers, non-verbal cognition, and number of consonants produced at age 2 years predicted the CFCS level at age 5 years (R2=0.54). CP type, Manual Ability Classification System level, amount of speech understood, vision, and number of consonants predicted the FCCS level (R2=0.49). CP type, amount of speech understood by strangers, and number of consonants predicted the VSS level (R2=0.50). Interpretation: Characteristics at 2 years of age predict communication and speech performance at 5 years, and should inform referral to speech and language therapy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pennington L, Dave M, Rudd J, Hidecker MJC, Caynes K, Pearce MS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

Year: 2020

Volume: 62

Issue: 10

Pages: 1161-1169

Print publication date: 01/10/2020

Online publication date: 30/07/2020

Acceptance date: 13/06/2020

Date deposited: 15/06/2020

ISSN (print): 0012-1622

ISSN (electronic): 1469-8749

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd


DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.14635


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric