The Counting Abilities of Children With Specific Language Impairment A Comparison of Oral and Gestural Tasks Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1994
The Counting Abilities of Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Barbara B. Fazio
    Indiana University Bloomington
  • Contact author: Barbara B. Fazio, Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Internet address: faziob@vcs.indiana.edu.
Article Information
International & Global / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1994
The Counting Abilities of Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1994, Vol. 37, 358-368. doi:10.1044/jshr.3702.358
History: Received February 10, 1993 , Accepted September 27, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1994, Vol. 37, 358-368. doi:10.1044/jshr.3702.358
History: Received February 10, 1993; Accepted September 27, 1993

This study examined the counting abilities of preschool children with specific language impairment compared to language-matched and mental-age-matched peers. In order to determine the nature of the difficulties SLI children exhibited in counting, the subjects participated in a series of oral counting tasks and a series of gestural tasks that used an invented counting system based on pointing to body parts. Despite demonstrating knowledge of many of the rules associated with counting, SLI preschool children displayed marked difficulty in counting objects. On oral counting tasks, they showed difficulty with rote counting, displayed a limited repertoire of number terms, and miscounted sets of objects. However, on gestural counting tasks, SLI children’s performance was significantly better. These findings suggest that SLI children have a specific difficulty with the rote sequential aspect of learning number words.

Acknowledgments
This manuscript is based on a doctoral dissertation submitted to the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at Indiana University. The research was supported, in part, by an Arlene Matkin Student Research Award from the American Speech and Hearing Foundation and by a doctoral dissertation grant from the Indiana University Graduate School. The author thanks the members of the dissertation committee, Rita Naremore, Linda Smith, Judith Johnston, and Samuel Guskin, for their feedback and suggestions; Jill Rajkovich, Mary Thorp, and Julie Brewer, for their assistance with the transcription of videotapes; and Phil Connell, Rita Naremore, and Mary Elbert, for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript.
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